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Blessed

Blessed

March 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: March 1, 2011
  • Release Date: March 1, 2011
  • Label: Lost Highway Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2011 UMG Recordings, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 59:05
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B004P3J4IC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,216 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

If you like Lucinda Williams, you'll love this album, plain & simple.
Gary Covington
Here the production is wonderful, the songs almost uniformly strong, and the musicians excellent.
philprof
If you're a fan of Lucinda Williams I don't see how you can go wrong getting the deluxe.
George Griggs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on March 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With the eminent status she has achieved in American song Lucinda Williams could not be blamed for coasting a bit. Much time has passed since the two decades of largely unheeded obsessive perfection that predated her late-90s breakthrough.

How fortunate that "Blessed" finds her lyrical and melodic powers at their zenith. Fresh, blazing inspiration is especially evident in spite of her droll, cool-as-cucumber delivery.

The tempo is subdued, but not in the vein of "Essence" or "West," which were immensely tortured and soul-searching by comparison. A decidedly less precious approach to the songs' overall execution plays to their strengths because Williams' outlook, while still immense with thought and world-weariness, is less clenched and more relaxed. Clipped, factual acceptance is therefore fitting in its thematic dominance.

"Buttercup," one of the few upbeat selections, does not set the stage with its classic rock feel and almost boisterous sense of levity as Williams criticizes a former flame in a nonetheless dignified manner. Its chorus is ingratiating with full throttle guitars and percussion. "Seeing Black," written for Vic Chesnutt, does not cast judgment on the troubled singer/songwriter's suicide but scratches the wounds of those left behind. She probes his motivation with a series of unanswerable questions amid searing guitar work from Elvis Costello.

The shrewdly observed, expertly executed title track finds affirmation in unlikely places - "we were blessed by the neglected child who knew how to forgive/we were blessed by the battered woman who did not seek revenge" - and exemplifies Williams' signature incisive simplicity, the backbone of her talent.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By applewood on March 8, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I almost didn't order this CD ( I couldn't listen to her recent Little Honey, nor had much interest in West, preferring instead what she did last century, Lucinda Williams (Reis), Sweet Old World, and Car Wheels on a Gravel Road or even the more commercial sounding releases from the early '00 Essence and World Without Tears), but did, due to some glowing pre-reviews, and I'm SO glad.

This could be her best recording yet, the perfect balance of raw vocals and tight polished instrumentation. The main disc is what really counts here, the second "Kitchen Tapes", is nice as a bonus, but wouldn't be much on it's own (demo-like solo versions which sound more like her earliest albums, but not as good).

The songwriting here covers pretty much Lucinda's familiar turf (love, loss, suicide, redemption, sacrifice, and renewal). It isn't so much new, as just really well done - including all the elements that she has done so well for so long. And this is what makes it remarkable, that it sounds so good, so fresh, so real, again.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Steve Dossey on March 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lucinda is back with a set of extremely well crafted, poetic songs. The music has a consistent tenor and mood. I prefer the acoustic "kitchen" disc because her melodies and her voice stand out in a beautiful honesty. The band supported disc is also an artistic statement sounding hushed,thoughtful, with candles in a darkened room feel. On the band disc her melodies are only hinted at and her voice is filled with whisper and innuendo, sometimes halting and sounding a bit weary. What I really like about both discs is their originality. Barely any echoes to past songs, except perhaps in theme. This one stands up there with her best. The kitchen disc is a must.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jack on April 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Lucinda's Blessed is another excellent collection in a recent wave of terrific new releases - IMO, the best of the lot.
Is there anyone else out there writing and performing with the passion and perfection of Lucinda Williams? On Blessed, Lucinda is backed by a strong band anchored by Butch Norton on drums and David Sutton on a pound perfect bass. Rami Jaffee adds musical color and keys on organ, piano, and accordion. But this is a guitar lovers album and Greg Leisz and Val McCallum front a stellar string section featuring guests Elvis Costello (in full Attractions mode), Eric Liljestrand, and of course, Lucinda.
The opening tune, Buttercup, nearly blew out my car speakers once I hit repeat and cranked it. Copenhagen melted me with the autobiographical (for me) lines of being 57 and feeling 7 when you incomprehensibly lose someone you love.
Every song kills. Lucinda probably isn't for everyone, but this is enough to send me to the well to buy everything else I can by her.
Thanks Lucinda, and thank you Meg Griffin for turning me on to her, as you have with so many others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Gilliland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I was very impressed with this new Lucinda Williams album. I think it contains some of the strongest material she's released in the past decade. It's hard to top a classic like "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," and I don't think it's fair to expect her to, but I'll settle for solid albums like this one anytime. It sounds like she really put a lot of energy and passion into these new songs. It works for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Kesler on November 30, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I don't have a problem with Lucinda William, though having said that, I can certainly see where others may. I don't believe that fans would be as hard on her and her material had it come from self-destructive artists like Gram Parsons, or Townes Van Zandt ... after all, Lucinda's been as self-destructive as any of them, she's just managed to survive. Her music is often raw, certainly deeply felt, and even at its worst, it's straight from the heart. Lucinda's put out ten albums, that's a huge body of work, not to mention her songwriting credits on other's releases. Even the great Bob Dylan only managed to put out four amazingly perfect albums, and they came out right in a row, a natural progression, before he felt that he'd lost his muse. But I'm getting ahead of myself, with the point being that I've always edited the work of Lucinda Williams, taken the songs that rolled though my head like thunderstorms, memorized the ones that set my feet to dancing on the lonely open road, and cried over the ones that broke my heart. No one says that I've gotta dig every song, sometimes just one song, the right one, is all that I need ... Lucinda Williams is that kind of artist.

"Blessed" is an entirely different story, "Blessed," as uncomfortable as the title is for me, certainly is [in that special way]. This is no doubt the most elegant sophisticated album she's brought to the table, full of alternative country images, ringing guitars, gentle blues, and one bone numbing shiver after another. Much of that is in part due to Don Was, who has a knack for finding the essence [no pun intended], and allowing it to flower with a richness unimagined ... though to her credit, I would contend that this is just how Lucinda heard it in her head.
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