He Never Got Enough Love - Lucinda Williams, Elders, Betty
Sweet Old World
Little Angel, Little Brother
Lines Around Your Eyes
Prove My Love
Sidewalks of the City
Memphis Pearl - Lucinda Williams, Rall, Lorne
Which Will - Lucinda Williams, Drake, Nick
Granted, Sweet Old World isn't the masterpiece that 1988's Lucinda Williams is. The too-simple explanations of "He Never Got Enough Love" aren't up to Williams's mile-high standards, and the arrangements throughout are... more » often so similar to that previous release's that the melodic differences here aren't as clear as they might've been. But when she raises her vulnerable cry to sing the three, pained perspectives on suicide that are at the heart of this album--the title track, "Little Angel, Little Brother," and "Pineola"--Williams's very humanity provides its own proof that, while this world can indeed be cruel, it can also be oh so sweet. --David Cantwell« less
Granted, Sweet Old World isn't the masterpiece that 1988's Lucinda Williams is. The too-simple explanations of "He Never Got Enough Love" aren't up to Williams's mile-high standards, and the arrangements throughout are often so similar to that previous release's that the melodic differences here aren't as clear as they might've been. But when she raises her vulnerable cry to sing the three, pained perspectives on suicide that are at the heart of this album--the title track, "Little Angel, Little Brother," and "Pineola"--Williams's very humanity provides its own proof that, while this world can indeed be cruel, it can also be oh so sweet. --David Cantwell
Pam M. from MANCHESTER, CT Reviewed on 5/27/2011...
Recently I have had several CDs spinning through my player while I'm at work. I received this CD recently and loved it from the very first turn. I have 2 or 3 other LW albums, but this one is so well put together and the songs weave seamlessly together such that when the disc is done you put it on again still wanting more. I can't say that there is a favorite song, I love each one of them. With this album I've finally found my Lucinda Williams vibe and I couldn't be happier.
The second example of Lucinda Williams perfection.
Matt Coker | Davis, CA, USA | 12/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SWEET OLD WORLD was the second Lucinda Williams album I bought. While the album doesn't rival 1988's LUCINDA WILLIAMS, most artist never release an album that is half this good. There was a shorter wait between records (4 years compared to 8 years before). Lucinda turned down an RCA contract in 1991 so she could have creative control, thank goodness she did. SWEET OLD WORLD is a masterpiece, the songs are more daring, and the performances (vocally and musically) aren't any less spectacular than that on LUCINDA WILLLIAMS. "Six Blocks Away" is exceptional. The song is masterfully arranged, and flawlessly executed. "Something About What Happens When We Talk" is outstanding, with a majestic performance. "He Never Got Enough Love" is ground-breaking, she tells a compelling story that is absolutely flawless. "Sweet Old World" is goregous, as she tells a story about the effects of suicide, and she makes us believe the world isn't so bad after all. "Little Angel, Little Brother" tells an interesting story, in a less straight-forward manner. "Pineola" is excellent. Its almost a cousin to "Changed The Locks" in musical terms. The lyrics describe the effects suicide has on friends and family, with a realistic performance from Lucinda. "Lines Around Your Eyes" is magnifiscent country-rock, should have been a hit single. "Prove My Love" is a goregous love song, told with a tender vocal. "Sidewalks Of The City" is fantastic, as she tells a story about waliking in the city and what you experience. The song has a similar feel to "Side Of The Road", but the lyrics are completely different. "Memphis Pearl" drags things down a bit, but the story in the lyrics is again compelling. "Hot Blood" has a great music feel. The cover version of "Which Will", is brilliant, a tender love song. While SWEET OLD WORLD isn't as exceptional as LUCINDA WILLIAMS or CAR WHEELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD, it is as daring. Fantastic album, the second example of Lucinda Williams perfection."
Poignant and moving
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was inspired to write this review after reading some of the others. "Sweet Old World" is actually my favorite Lucinda Williams album (although they are all favorites in their own way). I would say it is more bluesy than folksy. I find the album's meditations on suicide very poignant and deeply felt, unlike the listener from New York who wrote the weirdly bitter review below. My family has a history of clinical depression, and my sister committed suicide a few years ago. The title song, "Sweet Old World," expresses everything I wish I could have said to her--especially the line "Didn't you think that you were worth anything?" which always makes me cry. If you love exquisite songwriting and singing, and you don't mind being emotionally touched by what you hear, buy this album."
Rich | Reisterstown, MD USA | 05/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While the critics were going goo-goo ga-ga over "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road," and desevedly so, it was hard not to notice that this overlooked album is a much better listen in the long run. Not as obvious as Car Wheels, it sort of sneaks up on you like a slow burning fuse and finally explodes with emotion and Lucinda's somewhat understated delivery of a fabulous bunch of songs. Songs like "Sweet Old World" and "Little Angel Little Brother" just don't come arou d every day, and the entire album is up to that standard. Is it country? Sure, but you need not be a country fan to enjoy it. Is it folk? Absolutely. Rock and Roll? Without a doubt. But mostly, it's blues, although not in the traditional sense. It just gives you that same feeling you get after listening to some great blues tunes, yet with a stronger sense of melody. If you like any of Lucinda's work, or are looking for a good introduction, you can't go wrong with this totally underrated release."
Rich | 11/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was my first Lucinda Williams CD and my favorite in many ways. Ten years ago it seemed as consistent as her first album, and I admit on re-listening today that it isn't. The instrumentation has become dated, and between that and the New And Improved production on her later releases, I can see how others may have skipped this one or may want to. It would be a loss, though, not to have this CD that speaks so poignantly to loss.If I had to pick a single favorite Lucinda Williams song, the title track would be tempting. This song about suicide is her masterpiece, and you're not human if you aren't moved by it. It takes a poet to succeed with such a song. "Something About What Happens When We Talk" was the first of her songs I ever heard and remains a particular favorite. On hearing it I began my arguments with myself over whether her simple lyrics were trite or minimalistic. I eventually decided on the latter, and this song is so very intelligent and evocative, like so many here. The theme of suicide and loss from "He Never Got Enough Love" (those songs about men with abusive childhoods haven't stopped or become more subtle from here to "Sweet Side") through "Pineola" is perfectly realized. I don't have Lucinda's gift with words, but hers is used to remarkable effect in this series of songs.There are lighter pleasures here, from touching story songs ("Six Blocks Away", "Sidewalks of the City") to a fun, sweet love song like "Lines Around Your Eyes". Even before I had those lines I thought this was a great song, and now that we live in a culture that worships youth like never before, you can't beat the sentiment. "Hot Blood" is often a great song live, but unfortunately wasn't recorded in a way that captured the heat. Still, it's a must-have for any fan.There are weaker moments. Some of the lyrics on "Prove My Love" seem trite, though others are moving, and it's very country. I find "Memphis Pearl a bit maudlin, but not bad. And the cover of "Which Will" is nice enough, but dispensable.This is probably not the first CD I would recommend for someone who wanted an introduction to Lucinda Williams. It's musically dated, not perfectly consistent, and that's less true of her first CD or of Car Wheels. Still, the sense of it being a theme album for the first half or so of the recording, and a series of truly great songs - "Something About What Happens", "Sweet Old World", "Little Angel", "Pineola" - and a few that are simple fun - "Lines Around Your Eyes" and "Hot Blood" - are essential for any serious Lucinda fan."
Rob Damm | 06/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Face it, *nothing* was going to live up to Lucinda's '88 self-titled disc-- and for good reason: "Lucinda Williams" (the album) is just about as perfect as albums come. When "sweet old world" was released 4 years later, everyone saw it as a let-down. But, SOW has plenty of its own charms... it's a darker, more resigned record than LW. It sounds like the blues finally "got to her"... the blues seems to have won this round, and Lucinda writes and sings some truly harrowing tales. The album is loosely focused on suicide, and in a broader sense, loss in general. Unlike most albums that mine this dark territory, this disc manages to remain totally uncliched and stubbornly unsentimental. Lucinda writes with such honesty and unflinching detail, they are sparse, straightforward and touched with true beauty. Ultimately, it lacks the cathartic, life-affirming tunes like "Big Red Sun Blues" and Passionate Kisses" that tempered LW, but that's sort of the point. That said, the title track is the best song about suicide ever written. It's stark, sad, and lovely-- like the album itself."