Sweet Old World

Sweet Old World

by Lucinda WilliamsLucinda Williams


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After seemingly coming out of nowhere to be hailed as a major songwriter and roots music stylist, it took Lucinda Williams four years to prepare the follow-up to her masterful 1988 eponymous album. When it finally arrived, Sweet Old World proved to be every bit the equal of its predecessor, if not even better. Although Sweet Old World isn't really a concept album, it often feels like one. Its first half is dominated by the title track and "Pineola," two stunning meditations on suicide. Their sense of tragedy is reinforced with the closing cover of Nick Drake's "Which Will," and their shadow hangs heavy over the rest of the album. Several character portraits ponder where and why their subjects' lives went wrong; in this context, the dead-end situations seem that much more tragic and final. Moreover, when Williams offers an emotionally complex love ballad or a sexy blues strut, it's hard to take them as truly celebratory; here, the singer sounds as though she wants to appreciate who she has while she still can. That's also why "Little Angel, Little Brother" doesn't come off as remotely sentimental; the affectionate tribute works so well that, sandwiched between "Sweet Old World" and "Pineola," Williams' brother sounds like the suicide victim (it was actually a family friend). Williams' voice glows with the same warmth, for although it's limited in range, it's also a gorgeous instrument that WIlliams has learned to manipulate for maximum impact. Stylistically, Sweet Old World is similar to Lucinda Williams, juggling both the sounds and instruments of country, folk, blues, and rock & roll. It might not explode with confidence in the manner of Lucinda Williams, but Sweet Old World is no less vital; it's a gorgeous, elegiac record that not only consolidates but expands Williams' ample talents.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/25/1992
Label: Chameleon / Wea
UPC: 0737056135140
catalogNumber: 61351

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lucinda Williams   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Jim Lauderdale   Background Vocals
Doug Atwell   Fiddle
Benmont Tench   Hammond Organ
Byron Berline   Fiddle,Mandolin
Gia Ciambotti   Background Vocals
John Ciambotti   Bass,Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Skip Edwards   Hammond Organ
Duane Jarvis   Electric Guitar
Donald Lindley   Percussion,Drums
Gurf Morlix   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Bottle,Lap Steel Guitar
Dusty Wakeman   Background Vocals
William D. "Smitty" Smith   Hammond Organ

Technical Credits

Lucinda Williams   Producer,Liner Notes
Michael Dumas   Engineer
Gurf Morlix   Producer
Dusty Wakeman   Producer,Engineer
Skiles   Art Direction

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Sweet Old World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago