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West

Lucinda Williams Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 10.61 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

West + Blessed (Dlx Ed) + Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
Price For All Three: CDN$ 51.47


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Product Details


1. Are You Alright?
2. Mama You Sweet
3. Learning How To Live
4. Fancy Funeral
5. Unsuffer Me
6. Everything Has Changed
7. Come On
8. Where Is My Love?
9. Rescue
10. What If
11. Wrap My Head Around That
12. Words
13. West

Product Description

Product Description

With West, a disc that may well be Lucinda Williams' most personal work to date, the singer-songwriter channels both her emotion and restive creative energy into a startling set of songs that touch on both darkness and redemption. At turns strikingly spare and compellingly muscular, the album's 13 cuts attest to her willingness to stretch as a musician - and to put herself on the line as a chronicler of life. 'The songs deal with a chapter in my life there's a lot of pain and struggling, but it ends with a look towards the future.' Lucinda Williams.

Amazon.ca

Though the arrangements stray from Lucinda Williams's motherlode blend of blues, country, and folk, West may well be her best album. It is easily her most musically adventurous, and often her most lyrically inspired. Williams's singing has never sounded better, from the aching tenderness of "Where Is My Love?" to the ravaged catharsis of "Unsuffer Me." New York producer Hal Willner, who has worked with artists such as Marianne Faithful and Lou Reed, enlists the support of eclectic progressives like guitarist Bill Frisell, keyboardist Bob Burger, and violinist Jenny Scheinman, along with harmonies from the Jayhawks' Gary Louris, to weave a subtly rich sonic tapestry. Much of the material was inspired by the death of Williams's beloved mother ("Mama You Sweet," "Fancy Funeral") and the bitter breakup of a relationship (the jagged-edged emasculation of "Come On," the repetitive incantation of "Wrap My Head Around That"), though "Are You Alright?," "Learning How to Live," and "Everything Has Changed" could reflect the aftermath of both. Other highlights include "Rescue," with a languid subtlety and ambient pulse reminiscent of Beth Orton, and the dreamy, wistful title track. Where Williams's music has long cut close to the bone, the best of West slices right through it. --Don McLeese

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense. Feb. 21 2007
By Esthero
Format:Audio CD
"West" is Lucinda's eighth studio album and simply quite brilliant. Nobody does that low-down dirty country blues like Lucinda, locking into a languid, aching groove and sending shivers down the spine of any living thing within range of that earthy vibrato.
Not that she is interested in staying within some country comfort zone, "Wrap My Head Around That" straying into uncharted territory.
It is not the first time she has slowed a lyric to spoken level, but this is a rhythmic bona fide country rap epic, a compelling narrative over nine minutes long, punctuated by snarling guitar chops and solos.

"Words" is another wise old tale written on that cracked parchment of a voice, wafting over an intoxicating melody.

She quotes her father, literature and poetry professor Miller Williams on West's sleeve notes: "You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone", and these songs are a product of an internal turmoil caused by her mother's death and an intense relationship that spectacularly crashed and burned.

Put brutally selfishly, Lucinda's loss is our gain, gut-wrenching songs like "Unsuffer Me" burn with the agony and ecstasy of "Essence", and "Fancy Funeral" has the rare power to reduce grown men and women to tears.
She has assembled a great band including Bill Frisell, Jim Keltner and her long-time guitarist, the superb Doug Petibone, who do ample justice to this scintillating set of songs.
I like it. You will be moved, to say the least.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Walking in the shadowlands.... Feb. 13 2007
Format:Audio CD
Loss and loneliness are at the core of Lucinda Williams' eighth album, "West".

The album's 13 songs together form a largely down-tempo disc, but "West" doesn't only find Williams in a somber mood.

"Mama You Sweet" is upbeat and "Come On" is a nasty, almost raunchy kiss-off, musically akin to "Atonement" from her last album, 2003's "World Without Tears".

She injects doses of hope and light in tracks like "What If", in which she imagines a world where the president wears pink and a prostitute is a queen.

"I get tired of people looking at my songs and feeling that they're all sad and dark. There's more to them than that. Some people might read Flannery O'Connor and see that as simply dark - and it is dark and disturbing - but there's a philosophical aspect, even a comical aspect to it as well. I think that's all there on this album. It's a full circle, like I've come through a metamorphosis", she says...

"West" is Williams's finest hour.

There are uncomfortable truths here, carried on easy-going melodies. "Fancy Funeral" is a wry look at death's priorities that flows as easily as drink.

Williams lost her mother and an errant lover as these songs were being written. These two truncated relationships fill "West" with exquisitely turned suffering; Williams and band provides the expert musical succour. Hal Wilner is the producer who organised this record's quietly unconventional sounds as Williams wanted them.

Equally raw and sensual is the unravelling blues of "Unsuffer Me", where Williams's ravaged voice begs: "Undo my logic/ Undo my fear" with an intensity that verges on the erotic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very open and honest with her emotions. March 20 2007
Format:Audio CD
Like her pervious albums, Lucinda Williams is very open and honest about her life, and isn't afraid to express her most personal feelings in her songs.

This album is probably her most confessional yet. The album deals heavily with love. But despite being released during Valentine's Day week, it is a very dark album. It deals with topics such as having anger at a lover, grief, and love that is lost. But it's not all bleak, as the album does also have tracks that deal with embracing the chance to change things. Williams is once again very open and honest with her emotions, and her frankness is in stark contrast to most of the cookie cutter music that gets released.

The music is also very good, and fits her vocals and tone perfectly. Some of the highlights include "Come On", "Learning how to Live", and "Wrap My Head Around That".

For anyone that likes to hear real emotion in their music, they certainly can't go wrong with this album.

The lyrics, combined with the music, make for an album that, while sad and dark at times, also shows that there are always rays of hope no matter how bleak things may seem.

Like flowers blooming through cracked city concrete, Lucinda Williams's music is a paradox: how can her songs, almost exclusively about death, loneliness and failure, be so beautiful and uplifting?

Nine albums in, Lucinda Williams has reached something approaching perfection.

Her voice traverses country smoothness to Marlboro-ravaged drawl with elegant ease while Bill Frissell's guitar twangs and howls and shimmers with otherworldly wonder. As befits the intimate nature of the lyrics, the arrangements get sparser as the album progresses - the barnstorming Are You Alright?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  188 reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bluesy mix with a note of hope and redemption. March 2 2007
By joemacktheknife - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It may only be March but I have to say that this is going to be one of my records of the year.

Lucinda Williams has always been a peerless songwriter.She writes about lust, love, and losslike nobody else, and on this album, co-produced with Hal Wilner, she takes on such subjects as her mother's death, the state of the world, and yet another tumultuous relationship which ended badly. It's her usual tough stuff, but this time, Lucinda sneaks in a note of hope and even redemption in the very bluesy mix.

The album's 13 songs together form a largely down-tempo disc, but "West" doesn't only find Williams in a somber mood.

"Mama You Sweet" is upbeat and "Come On" is a nasty, almost raunchy kiss-off, musically akin to "Atonement" from her last album, 2003's "World Without Tears".

She injects doses of hope and light in tracks like "What If", in which she imagines a world where the president wears pink and a prostitute is a queen.

There are uncomfortable truths here, carried on easy-going melodies. "Fancy Funeral" is a wry look at death's priorities that flows as easily as drink.

Williams lost her mother and an errant lover as these songs were being written. These two truncated relationships fill "West" with exquisitely turned suffering; Williams and band provides the expert musical succour. Hal Wilner is the producer who organised this record's quietly unconventional sounds as Williams wanted them.

Equally raw and sensual is the unravelling blues of "Unsuffer Me", where Williams's ravaged voice begs: "Undo my logic/ Undo my fear" with an intensity that verges on the erotic.

Subtle and heroically blunt by turns, "West" is a meditation on abandonment and recovery, abandon and regret that deserves to be hauled out of the Americana ghetto and celebrated everywhere wounded hearts beat.

This collection sees her at her best with emotion, raw power and intoxicating, intense tunes which should appeal to much more than country and folk fans.

Four years on from "World Without Tear"s comes this studio album from Lucinda Williams, her eighth in a 37-year career - she doesn't rush.

OK, the predominant theme is pain, and no one does pain as eloquently as Lucinda - or as multifariously.

Yet "West" is all musical mood swings: from stoic, heartbreak country to fierce revenge rock, retro pop to folk, poetry to rap, mellow California to dark LA rock.

What makes Lucinda Williams such an important country artist, besides the excellent songwriting and that sultry, scarred southern voice, is her skill at stretching the genre's boundaries while mining its essence.

Which, often as not, is pain.
133 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything Has Changed Feb. 17 2007
By Lee Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
On August 10, 2005 Lucinda Williams played at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. It was the last live concert that my wife and I saw together. Lucinda was touring in support of "Live @ the Fillmore" & said she was writing songs for a new record. As I recall, she played a new song she said she'd recently written, "Everything Has Changed." I preordered Lucinda's "West" set while my wife was still here. Today marks the fourth week since breast cancer ripped a giant unfillable hole in my universe. Lucinda lost her mother; and so themes of adjustment to loss not only resonate with me, they punctuate every breath I take. I spin the CD & Lucinda's gentle aching voice comes on, "Are you alight?" When people ask me that, I want to say, "He*l no!" But when she sings, "All of a sudden you went away; I hope you come back around someday; I haven't seen you in a real long time; Could you give me some kind of sign? Are you alright? ...Cause I've been feeling a little scared," it sounds like she's tapped into my inner dialogue as I look toward heaven and speak to the one I love. What an amazing song, "Just tell me that you're okay." If this were the only song on the CD, it'd be worth it.

"Unsuffer Me" is a grueling unflinching look at the pain of loss. Sometimes you have to stare it in the face to get through it. "Anoint my head with your sweet kiss, my joy is dead; I long for bliss," she sings as what I assume is Dan Pettibone's electric guitar churns mercilessly. Yet somehow the song achieves a magical dignity. During my wife's last weeks, my daughter said to me, "It's like watching a train wreck; you can't look away." There something of that strength that comes through in Williams' music.

Other cuts are also amazing. "Learning How to Live" is a breakup song, adjusting to loss. "Fancy Funeral" may sound a bit bizarre, but I can attest that my daddy and I had almost an exact same conversation in 2001 when my mother passed. The sheer force of Lucinda's anger in "Come On" puts a smile on my face as a classic bashed-breakup song, "Dude, you're so fired; shut up, I'm not inspired." "Words" has Lucinda's voice, weathered, worn & laden taking comfort in something she likes best, writing a good song.

Yes, Lucinda has an amazing catalog of recordings from "Happy Woman Blues" to the self-titled record to Car Wheels & World Without Tears. "West" takes a well deserved place at the table as one of her most compelling, moving works. Bravo!
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and carefully crafted Feb. 13 2007
By A. H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
West marks a different direction for Lucinda Williams. Her last studio album, World Without Tears, was recorded live in the studio (i.e., the whole band is playing together simultaneously, not laying down separate tracks). That approach yielded a rugged and raw production that was a departure from the highly polished recordings embodied in Essence and Car Wheels, the two albums through which many of Lucinda's current fans discovered her. West does not have that "live in the studio" rawness, but it has a looser feel than Essence and Car Wheels. (I'm listening on good headphones with a good headphone amplifier; the recorded sound is gorgeous and the textures of the music and Lucinda's vocals are amazing.) It has that effortless quality that demonstrates just how much effort went into getting it right.

West shows that Lucinda has matured significantly. She worked out a lot of raw emotion through World Without Tears and the ensuing live album. West doesn't sound as edgy or raw as those recordings, though "Come On" does come close. At the same time, West also sounds more organic and earthy than many of the tracks on Essence. And as many reviewers are already pointing out, it doesn't sound the way Car Wheels does either. But it doesn't need to sound the way Car Wheels does. At first blush, West sounds like something of a new direction for her, but I get the sense that if you take the time to listen carefully, you'll recognize that the songwriting talents that have made her such a unique performer in our disposable age are here in spades. The songs and lyrics are as intimate, engaging, and heartfelt as anything she's written or sung in the past two decades, if not more so. There is something immediately familiar about them. They're great songs, just not the kind that are going to get you dancing on the lawn when you see her on a summer tour.

Posterity is a hanging judge, but I think time will prove this album's worth. I'm glad to have it. Recommended without reservation. Keep up the good work, Lucinda.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tortured Brilliance Feb. 22 2007
By moviegal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Even though Lucinda Williams has looked for her joy from West Memphis to Slidell, she still hasn't found it- lucky for us. Finally, a record by Lucinda that surpasses Car Wheels.... This is her best work to date by far. Her lyrics are always superior and nothing has changed here in that respect. What has changed for the better in my opinion, is the music itself. The use of strings on this record is mesmerizing. It gives the music a full and complete feel-very deep and rich. And her lyrics blow me away- just listen to "What If" and "Mama You Sweet"- how does she do it????? This is an absolutely beautiful record- I think it's my favorite of 2007 so far. Raw, raunchy, sweet, funny, sad, and real. You can't beat that.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucinda Is Figuring Out Rock and Roll! March 30 2007
By C. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Count me as one who feels that Lucinda's greatest work was from her self titled album to Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. I love every song on those albums. What makes them special is the marriage of the music to her voice expressions. The way that the music pushes her to greater vocal heights and rawness of vocal emotion. I also loved the country sound.

The albums "Essence" and "World without Tears" were departures from the old stuff. Lucinda changed bands and went with a much more of a rock sound. I think some of these songs are great live when the band is able to stretch itself and Lucinda's singing out. But on the album format they often felt like they never got going. I do not think the band understood how to compliment Lucinda's unique style of singing. I was missing the long beautiful stories.

She is back! This time Lucinda's band sounds great behind her. This is some of her best singing since Car Wheels. The only song I could really do with out is fancy funerals.... and that will probably grow on me in time.

The best song... and maybe one of the greatest songs I have ever heard is "Learning How to Live".... wow. My fave Lucinda song since Sweet Old World. It is sad, and it is beautiful. Highly recommended!

"Where is My Love?" is very "Car Wheel and a Gravel Roadish". That song sounds great. "Are You Alright" and the beautiful "Everything Has Changed" are also highlights!

Great album!

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