Lucinda Williams has always been adept at painting landscapes of the soul, illuminating the spirit's shadowy nooks and shimmering crannies -- but she's never captured the sun breaking through the clouds as purely as on her... more » new Lost Highway release, Little Honey The album features a duet with Elvis Costello "Jailhouse Tears" Other guest vocalists include Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs, Jim Lauderdale, Tim Easton and Charlie Louvin. The first single "Real Love" is available for download in the Amazon MP3 store.« less
Lucinda Williams has always been adept at painting landscapes of the soul, illuminating the spirit's shadowy nooks and shimmering crannies -- but she's never captured the sun breaking through the clouds as purely as on her new Lost Highway release, Little Honey The album features a duet with Elvis Costello "Jailhouse Tears" Other guest vocalists include Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs, Jim Lauderdale, Tim Easton and Charlie Louvin. The first single "Real Love" is available for download in the Amazon MP3 store.
the bomba | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | 10/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lucinda's ninth album contrasts with the downbeat nature of "West" in being a generally a more upbeat collection; it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that most of its songs were originally written for "West" (though "Circles And Xs" dates back to 1985 and "Well Well Well" to the Sweet Old World days of 1992). "Little Honey", however, stretches Lucinda's already eclectic musical envelope even further beyond the approved boundaries of country and Americana. She's retained West's engineer Eric Liljestrand as co-producer (with Tom Overby) for Little Honey, and there's real high-octane chemistry in the support crew, which mostly comprises her latest crack road band (now collectively known as Buick 6), including among its ranks guitarists Chet Lyster and Doug Pettibone, bassist David Sutton and drummer Butch Norton; additionally, keyboardist Rob Burger (who'd played on the "West" sessions) returns to gently fill out the textures some more. In the 30 years since her first album, Lucinda Williams has become known as one of the most expressive, emotive singers around, her country-blues voice cracked through with heartbreak. She's still crying, but this time it's tears of joy over her marriage to manager Tom Overby. Yet this is no saccharine outpouring: "Honey Bee" is a stomping, fearsome ode to her lover, while gorgeous lament "If Wishes Were Horses" recalls earlier pains. "Little Honey" is a very physical album, though it still keenly (and sensually) expresses that quality of introspective spiritual heartache that has made Lucinda one of country music's most enduring songwriters of our time. It kicks off with the rock power of "Real Love". That's followed by "Circles and Xs": It's classic country blues as is the next track "Tears Of Joy", a soulful groove, a gorgeous stately stroll. Williams is also a great lyricist and on "Little Rock Star", she offers a stark warning on the wasting of talent. Warm fuzzy horns and distant guitars gently wash over the eight-minute sprawl of "Rarity", a prolonged low-key assault on the senses, leading into "Plan To Marry", a Joan Baez-tinged reflection on love's vagaries. Having lulled us into the mood of these melancholy musings, Lucinda then lurches off down a rockier road with a swaying and strutting take on AC/DC's "It's A Long Way To The Top". Strangely less so is the duet with the ubiquitous Elvis Costello. The song "Jailhouse Tears" - two quirky voices in perfect symmetry - is perhaps just too campy and obvious. Highlights :"If Wishes Were Horses", "Tears of Joy" and "It's A Long Way To The Top"."
Another winning number. It jumps at # 9 of the Billboard 200
India | 10/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The object of cultish adoration for years, the American singer/songwriter is universally hailed as a major talent by both critics and fellow musicians, but it took quite some time for her to parlay that respect into a measure of attention from the general public. Part of the reason was her legendary perfectionism: she released records only infrequently, often taking years to hone both the material and the recordings thereof. Plus, her early catalog was issued on smaller labels that agreed to her insistence on creative control but didn't have the resources or staying power to fully promote her music. Yet her meticulous attention to detail and staunch adherence to her own vision were exactly what helped build her reputation".-Steve Huey/AMG At 56, after 30 years in the music business, a string of critically acclaimed albums and three Grammys, she is still something of an acquired taste. Maybe it's her voice - red raw with passion - or maybe her songs are sometimes just too intense for many listeners. Her ninth studio album is another masterclass of soulful country blues, but it finds her in more upbeat mood than last year's excellent "West". For someone whose music is a byword for heartbreak, it's disconcerting that Lucinda Williams's latest album should open with a boisterous, bluesy paean to the joys of love. On "Real Love", the sense of abandon is fuelled by the electric guitar that she loves but, before the suggestion takes hold that "Little Honey" is the rock album she's always threatened to make, the tone shifts into the more familiar territory of sadness and regret. "Tears Of Joy" is accompanied by softly throbbing blues guitar and an emphasis on the word 'crying'; while Williams never conceals the fissures of experience running through her fabulous husky voice. Yet it's emotional ambiguity that Williams excels at, and "Little Honey" drips with it. This album is notable for its lightness of touch. Whether that's the campy, honky-tonk jam with Elvis Costello ("Jailhouse Tears") or the sparse ballad for her fiancé ("The Knowing), she wraps her honeysuckle voice around them all. Little Rock Star's sweet tale of redemption through music could be the story of Williams's own life. Lucinda is happier on more wistful subject matter, particularly "If Wishes Were Horses" and "Circles and Xs"; but not even some superior guitar-playing and an intriguing collection of backing singers (Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs and Charlie Louvin) can hide a certain kind of mediocrity of most of the second half of the album. All in all, it's a bittersweet treat of soulful country blues. It is not a bad outing at all, it's great album but not her best. My favourite tracks: "Jailhouse Tears","If Wishes Were Horses" and "It's A Long Way To The Top". It debuts at # 9 of The Billboard 200 Chart; at # 1 of the Top Internet Albums and at # 1 of the Top Tastemakers Chart. Issue Date: 2008-11-01
Yes, it's a Real Love!
Michael | 10/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Little Honey is a much happier album the Lucinda's last album, West, although I'm not sure it's better, it's just as good just the same. The album kicks off with "Real Love" a rocking, happy tune. It's something we've never heard from Lucinda, then it goes into the country-tinged ballad "Circles and X's" which was actually written over twenty years ago and I'm not sure why she hadn't used it before, and she slips into a very bluesy "Tears Of Joy" talking about playing games but now she has met a man to whom she loves, then comes the loud, beautiful "Little Rock Star", now this is one of the highlights, most definitley, it may even be the best song on the album. "Honey Bee" is a fast raunchy rocker, it is fun although a bit silly. "Well Well Well" comes next and I must say, it's a bit too country for my taste. It's an okay song, but again just not my taste. If "Well Well Well" was a disappointment, "If Wishes Were Horses" made up for it and then some! This is my second favorite next to "Little Rock Star". But then things take a turn downward when we get to "Jailhouse Tears", which again is an okay song but I think adding Elvis Costello's vocals wasn't a great idea, but the song itself is okay. So now we're on "Knowing" and I must say, it's a beautiful little love song and "Heaven Blues" is a wonderful little blues song about going to Heaven, the music is almost too happy for lyrics that are so sad. "I'm gonna see my mother up in Heaven..." "Rarity" is another beautiful love song and "Plan To Marry" is about how "love is a sword" and a song for those who love, believe in love and why people marry. "It's A Long Way To The Top" is a cover and it's a great rock n' roll closer to an awesome Lucinda Williams album! 5 stars. "
Almost Car Wheels
John Farrow | Albuquerque, USA | 10/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, Lu gets back to her bluesy roots with some of her most upbeat songs in a decade. If "Little Honey" doesn't get you moving, you need to check your pulse. Also, there is some wonderful, understated guitar work by Tom Pettibone throughout. Buy this record. You won't be disappointed."
Uneven album leaves me wondering
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 02/01/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Lucinda Williams has been on an incredible creative spurt in this decade. After releasing only 5 albums in 20 years (1979-1998), this is Lucinda's 4th studio album in just this decade (5 albums altogether when you include the "Fillmore" live album from 2005). In early 2007 Lucinda released the devastating "West" album, dealing with the passing away of her mother and relationships gone south (a common theme to many of her albums). About 18 months later, Lucinda comes back with this release.
"Little Honey" (13 tracks; 64 min.) brings a more uplifting mood of Lucinda, now apparently in a happy relationship (her producer). The album starts off with a rousing "Real Love" but after that, it becomes a very uneven affair, regretfully. Case in point is "Tears of Love", a lazy song that goes nowhere, as is the case with "Jailhouse Tears", which sounds like a throwaway song. The acoustic-driven "Little Rock Star" shines, though. The standout track on here is the 8+ min. slow-burner "Rarity", which reminds me of Lucinda of old. The album closes with a curious (and ineffective) cover of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top", it's not bad as such but it just makes me wanna reach back to the original AC/DC song.
In all, this is a very uneven album. For one, its running time is way too long. Cut out about 3-4 of the least effective songs and instead you'd have a much stronger set. That said, Lucinda Williams is a fabulous live act. I've seen her in concert before and I can only hope that I'll have a chance to see her on the tour supporting this album."