Album Review

Little Honey

Little Honey

by Lucinda Williams

8.5 / 10
12th February 2009

Reviewed by Sarah Ormsby

Although Lucinda Williams’ new album is soaked in the celebration of new love, die hard fans of her usual navigation through love lost need not fear, “Little Honey” still burns with longing as well as raw joy. In “Tears of Joy” Williams reflects on a past ‘uprooted and restless’ a messed up old self that she has thankfully left behind, but her new joy is infused with tears that are bitter sweet with this history. A good country song relies upon this infusion of love with pain, and Williams holds the balance beautifully. “If Wishes Were Horses” is a stand out track, infused with regret and heartbreak, where Williams outlines an enormous regret, along with a willingness to plead for a second chance: “If wishes were horses, I’d have a ranch. Come on and give me another chance...” . Williams is still the archetypal “Lonely Girl” of country music, despite her new found love.

The real pleasure of this album however, is that the loss is felt alongside the love, “Honey Bee” is pure guttural joy- with Williams serenading her honey bee with a barrage of riotously suggestive sexual innuendo: “Oh my little honey bee, I’m so glad you stung me”. There’s also nothing saccharine in her song on love and marriage, that meditates for the first three verses on frozen earth, cynical leaders and fruit trees gone to rot- but ultimately finds a very tentative redemption in lovers as soldiers. It is possible that “Little Honey” cements the co-existence of love and loss as Williams’ great subject... “Little Honey” is another brilliant album from Lucinda Williams, a true alchemical mess of love and pain, from a musician at the height of her powers.

By Sarah Ormsby

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