Given that she made her name with songs of heartbreak and betrayal, what motivates Lucinda Williams now she's found love? Her 10th album casts wide for inspiration. "Buttercup" bids a lover farewell with her usual disdain, but "Blessed" counts the strands of happiness. "Soldier's Song" empathises with an army far from home, while "Seeing Black" delves into the mind of a suicidal friend (the late songwriter Vic Chesnutt). Elvis Costello is among those contributing to the guitar-heavy pieces, but it's the gentle "Copenhagen" and the mournful "Kiss Like Your Kiss" that are the standouts, their reflective qualities intensified by Williams's racked vocals.
Lucinda Williams: Blessed – review
Neil Spencer is a writer and an astrologer for The Observer