She croaks, grunts, chews her words, lets the syllables of her perfectly lived-in southern accent drip out, does her thing over heavy rhythms, beefy keyboards and saturated guitars. At 67 years old, the indomitable Lucinda Williams still manages to extract from her inner maelstrom the material of substantial songwriting, and thus to magnify her Americanity. Loaded with poignant melodies, these new songs stand out first and foremost for their rock and blues aspects, by the ability of their creator to put her finger on all her sore spots and make it hurt in a good way. In many cases, the dirtiness of the accompaniment suits the hyperlucidity and hypersensitivity of the lyricist. Her instability justifies ours, ours justifies hers, and here we are again in her pick-up truck, criss-crossing gravel roads. Potholes abound on the route, and we also cross more welcoming, reassuring, bucolic terrain. Co-produced by Ray Kennedy, Good Souls Better Angels was conceived by Lucinda Williams and Tom Overby, her husband, manager, and creative partner. Few songwriters and performers are still able to surprise us with such intensity and urgency. Even if there are few conceptual variations on the program after four decades of fierce activity, listening to this fifteenth album brings true contentment.
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