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Little Honey CD (2008)

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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.

"I'm in a different phase of my life, so there are more happy moments on this album," the singer-songwriter says of her ninth studio set. "'Darkly introspective,' is one phrase people have used to describe a lot of my songs. There are moody songs, but I'm looking outside myself a little bit more. These aren't 'boy meets girl, boy leaves girl, girl gets bummed out' songs -- there's a lot more than that going on."

Williams wastes no time signaling that mood change, leading into Little Honey's opener, "Real Love" with a false start riff that's the six-string equivalent of a friendly wink -- then sidling into the tune's hard-rocking vibe with a sensual slink that underscores the passion of finding exactly what that title indicates. The bluesy physicality of that tune is echoed in several of Little Honey's tracks, from the charmingly chugging "Honeybee" to the gorgeous melodies of "If Wishes Were Horses."


Label Universal Music Group
SKU 209246559
UPC 602517741737
UPC 14 00602517741737
Format CD
Release Date 10/14/2008
Author Lucinda Williams
Artist Bio
Lucinda Williams"I'm stepping out and writing about things other than unrequited love. But because that's not part of my experience anymore," she explains, "doesn't mean I'm going to stop being a songwriter. There are plenty of other important things to write about -- the state of the world, for one thing -- I don't buy into the myth that because you get to a certain level of contentment, you have to throw in the towel."While Little Honey certainly has plenty to move the hips, Lucinda Williams doesn't neglect her uncanny ability to do the same to the heart. The sparse delta delivery she affords "Heaven Blues" -- a keening consideration of what might await on the other side -- hits home thanks to its arresting blend of hope and vexation, while the epic "Rarity" rides soft waves of brass (instrumentation never before heard on one of her discs)."The one thing the songs have in common is directness," she says. "The beauty of country and blues is their simplicity, it's about getting things across in a really direct way. I've spent a while stretching out and going in different directions, which is my nature. But I feel that I can always embrace that original simplicity again -- that's why I went back to record Circles and Xs, which I actually wrote back in 1985."Over the course of a recording career that's now in its fourth decade, the Louisiana-born singer has navigated terrain as varied as the dust-bowl starkness of her 1978 debut Ramblin' (recorded on the fly with a mere 250 dollar budget behind her) and the stately elegance of last year's West (which Vanity Fair called "the record of a lifetime"). Between those signposts, Lucinda Williams established a reputation as one of rock's most uncompromising and consistently fascinating writers and performers, earning kudos from artists as diverse as Mary-Chapin Carpenter (who helped win Williams a Grammy with her recording of "Passionate Kisses") and Elvis Costello (who joins her for a duet on the Little Honey mini-drama "Jailhouse Tears").
ReviewSource The Onion A.V. Club
Review Like Bruce Springsteen's Born In The U.S.A., Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels On A Gravel Road was that rare album that perfectly summed up everything an artist stood for while crafting songs loaded with hook after hook. And like Springsteen after Born, it left Williams nowhere to go but sideways. Since Wheels' 1998 release, Williams has gone quiet (Essence), entrenched herself in the blues (World Without Tears), and plunged into miserablism (West), creating sustained moods that wore out their welcomes over the length of an album...That's isn't a problem for Little Honey, a winningly eclectic set that finds Williams thinking about pleasing the crowd again while seemingly playing whatever fits her mood. One of several songs to feature sweet harmonies from Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, the album-opening "Real Love" practically challenges listeners not to turn up the volume. It's all catchy rock grooves and joyous explosion, anchored around the guitar of Williams regular Doug Pettibone. The honky-tonk-friendly "Circles And X's," written in 1985, follows, and from there, the album rolls through ballad portraiture ("Little Rock Star"), a delicate second-chance lament ("If Wishes Were Horses"), and an AC/DC cover. Why? Why not? Williams sounds like she's enjoying herself, never more so than on the losers-in-love Elvis Costello duet "Jailhouse Tears," and the mood becomes infectious. Williams spent much of this decade proving she can branch out, but here she's staged something even more impressive: a pleasing homecoming.
Reviewer Keith Phipps
ReviewRating 9
Product Attributes
Artist Williams,Lucinda
Label Universal Music Group
Music Format Compact Disc
Austin Chronicle With "Little Honey," she pays back fans whose faith had waned as her songwriting grew pedantic on recent albums such as "West."
Los Angeles Times There's a raw energy on Little Honey...that's as refreshing as it is palpable.
Paste Magazine Little Honey finds Williams in celebratory mode, with raucous rock, bluesy testimonies and tongue-in-cheek twang.
Spin ...her finest record since "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," the decade-old masterpiece by which her career will always be judged.
Uncut ...a heartening and humble album, sufficiently smart and aware to be an expression of thanks for the journey as well as the destination.

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