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Lucinda Williams' Good Souls Better Angels: documenting a world in crisis

Revered US songwriter Lucinda Williams in visceral, impassioned form on 14th studio album Good Souls Better Angels

Lucinda Williams: Good Souls Better Angels
(Image: © Highway 20 Records)

Lucinda Williams’ 14th studio effort chimes with the times like no other. 

Good Souls… documents a world in crisis from a number of standpoints, be it the self-explanatory Bad News Blues (peopled by “fools, thieves, clowns and hypocrites”), the social media toxicity of Shadows & Doubts or the seething Man Without A Soul//, which rips the rug from political chest-beaters everywhere, not just in the White House. 

Backed by her trusty Buick 6 - guitarist Stuart Mathis, bass player David Sutton and drummer ‘Butch’ Norton – Williams’ anger is reflected in the music, which tempers her primal electric blues and country with garagey punk and heaving rock.

Yet there’s also empathy, hope and an unyielding sense of humanity at work here. Big Black Train and When The Way Gets Dark both address the spectre of mental illness, while the experimental, hip-hop-ish Wakin’ Up charts her own real-life deliverance from an abusive relationship.