Lucinda Williams

West (Lost Highway)

Phases & Stages

Lucinda Williams

West (Lost Highway)

A decade ago, no Lucinda Williams fan could have imagined that West would be her third album in six years. She was, after all, the poster girl for artists who took their sweet time but delivered stunning results. Here she's working through another difficult breakup in producer Hal Willner's softer hues of rainy-day jazz, muted R&B, and ethereal Americana, not the stinging blues and bizarre quasi-rap of 2003's World Without Tears. "Come On" simmers and seethes, poignant "Learning How to Live" carries a Sweet Old World chime, and "Wrap My Head Around That" builds to a frothy head of boho-blues as Williams criticizes some unfortunate cad's "little party favor." Elsewhere, West is just too musically placid or lyrically uninspired to elicit much passion from either the listener or, disappointingly, Williams herself. She's been down this gravel road before, and those car wheels sound precariously close to spinning in place.

**.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow
Alvin Crow
Summer camp with the kids

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle