CD Review: Lucinda Williams

Little Honey (Lost Highway)

When Joni Mitchell married Larry Klein and celebrated with the 1982 album Wild Things Run Fast, there was this unpersuasive, "Good for you. No. Really," that rose up from her fans. She had found love and comfort. Too bad that her music had relied so much on the absence of those things, or at least her microscopically-chronicled search for them.

Little Honey suggests that if and when Lucinda Williams does settle down, there's no real reason to think that her music will. Who the hell knows what's really going on with her? But recent recordings have captured her singing about things that no longer lead you to believe she's living in her car or pawning her own guitars to get someone else's out of hock. She's singing big-girl songs in what has always been a big-girl voice and gives the impression that there's a little more quid pro quo in her love life than there once was. She might even be happy.

"Real Love" is both a great song and a great starter. Even when she brings a downer, Williams sounds good rocking. In "Real Love," she's on top, so to speak, and is singing about a relationship worth singing about. "If Wishes Were Horses" lives up to her rep of cranking out novellas that get in and get out in less than six minutes. And her quite nice cover of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top" is the third cautionary tale on the record for those who might be considering a career in music.

Good for her. No. Really.