Essence - Lucinda Williams
Essence Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: Although Lucinda Williams' recording career began in 1979, this is just her sixth full-length release, following 1998's well-received 'Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.' 'Essence' features 11 new trackes penned by Williams and co-produced by Charlie Sexton and Bo Ramsey.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 100
    It's a nervy progression, almost necessarily uneven because of the risks it takes, balancing a grace that soars toward aching perfection with an intimacy that elicits a squirmy discomfort.
  2. 90
    There's no easy niche in which you can place this new statement: like Dylan's Time Out Of Mind, it ventures into a doomy, mythological area, where the directions are muddied and the heartbreak is total. [Jul 2001, p.98]
  3. Her folkiest, gentlest album, Essence is a steamy slow-crawl... [8 June 2001, p.74]
  4. 80
    As halting, spare, and downbeat as its predecessor was giddy, verbose, and, okay, downbeat. [Jul 2001, p.125]
  5. By leaving her images blurry and her singing uncomplicated, Williams has found a way to capture the sound she hears in her head and obsesses over the recording process to find.
  6. This mainstream update to the unvarnished directness of Sweet Old World starts slow and flirts with blandness but sparks to life about halfway through.
  7. Essence finds Williams returning to the willful intimacy of her earliest records. Laid-back, rock-ish and small in scale, Essence never achieves grandeur but won't particularly alienate the fan for whom her wonders small and large are equally magical.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10