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West by Lucinda Williams
Released: Feb 2007
Label: Lost Highway Records
A sense of loss dominates West, whether Williams' inspiration comes from contemplating the death of her mother or another sour relationship. Such weighty topics should play to her strengths, but foggy-headed potboilers like "Unsuffer Me" and "What If" make the collection her least focused in years. With the rare, sharp detail -- like carefully named bouquets on "Fancy Funeral" or the yearning of "Where is My Love?" -- she evokes her most vivid work, but if not for the impeccable playing of her band, especially guitarists Bill Frisell and Doug Pettibone, much of West would be directionless.
Nate Cavalieri
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