TIME magazine named Lucinda Williams America's best songwriter in 2002, a year before before World Without Tears was released, but she'd been a critical favorite more than two decades. Her seventh album, it doesn't deviate from the formula that planted her in the critics' good graces, but coming on the heels of her grammy winning, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, it debuted in Billboard's Top Twenty and went on to sell close to 500,000 copies. (Wikipedia)
Not too shabby for someone with little radio airplay (in a time before iTunes, customizable internet radio stations, and youtube), and not a hit single in sight.
I chose this album for purely selfish reasons. Being a huge Replacements fan, as well as a Lucinda fan, I was thrilled that one of the songs, "Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings" was purportedly about ex-frontman, Paul Westerberg.
But my favorites are the bluesy, sleazy "Atonement," and the odd, near rap of "Sweet Side."
I told someone once that during the 90s and 00s, when every twenty-something woman seemed to be enamored of Liz Phair or Courtney, that I didn't have a "Liz Phair," but I had a "Lucinda Williams." Flawed, but beautiful.