Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. As bummers go, West is a beautiful one — akin to Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind.
  2. What makes Williams such an important country artist, besides the excellent songwriting and that sultry, scarred southern voice, is her skill at stretching the genre's boundaries while mining its essence.
  3. West may well be her best album. It is easily her most musically adventurous, and often her most lyrically inspired.
  4. West is flawless; it is actually destined to become a classic.
  5. Rolling Stone
    80
    Williams remains a premier artist. [22 Feb 2007, p.73]
  6. Fortunately, the alt-country singer-songwriter’s gifts of soul mining are so acute that the songs — inspired by her mother’s passing and a wrenching breakup — enrich as well as exhaust, and engender cautious optimism.
  7. West works because it juxtaposes a sense of vulnerability with a desire not to stay down for long, and is tinged with a sense of realism not always present in her rivals.
  8. Q Magazine
    80
    It's a long, hard haul, but this is an outstanding talent at the top of her game. [Mar 2007, p.116]
  9. Mojo
    80
    Most [tracks] are brilliant. [Apr 2007, p.97]
  10. Perhaps an unrefined but fiery bar band would have been better suited to accompany such nakedly raw material.
  11. When the group tries to explore the other, louder side of its sound, West sounds slapped-together.
  12. Often harrowing, although Williams's emotional odyssey finds resolution on the title track.
  13. Spin
    70
    Let those [few sub-par] parts slide into the ocean and enjoy the remaining hour of perfectly golden brilliance. [Feb 2007, p.89]
  14. Billboard
    70
    Willner's soulful production, elegant and layered, recalls Daniel Lanois' work with Emmylou Harris. [17 Feb 2007]
  15. For all its sorrowful beauty, "West" is often excruciating to hear as Williams mourns the death of her mother and a stormy relationship that ended badly.
  16. The tracks that don't work misfire spectacularly.
  17. For most of the album, [the music] remains resolutely deliberate and restrained, without her usual soaring and rocking release.
  18. Uncut
    60
    An album of sometimes stark simplicity, West is in many places rather drab and charmless. [Mar 2007, p.72]
  19. With its antiseptic production and complete lack of warmth, and the subsequent disconnect between singer and song, I can’t yet listen to West without wondering when Lucinda’s going to release the proper version.
  20. 60
    The album is often duller than its predecessors, with bummed-out banalities repeated from previous records; at times, she seems to be dragging herself through her own songs.
  21. The dolorous and enervated West reins in some (not all) of Williams' willful stylistic misadventures while holding fast to her golden triumvirate of death, love and longing.
  22. If the poisoned well of bad love has soused some of her most brutally detailed observations (see crushers like Essence's "Reason to Cry" or World Without Tears's "Overtime," for starters), confronting mortality seems to have thrown Williams into wandering, formless meditations.
  23. She's been down this gravel road before, and those car wheels sound precariously close to spinning in place.
  24. A shame an NPR market supercilious of the mercenary likes of Sheryl Crow has forced her to record songs that Crow herself would consider models of autumnal acuity.
  25. Coming from an unknown artist, West would be disappointing if it was anything at all; coming from Williams, it’s entirely abysmal.
  26. She spends so much time rambling about her pain that she never bothers even to try to make us feel it.
  27. Ms. Williams’s strong suit is going simple and direct, but “West” loses its focus and goes wide and long. It develops a grandiosity problem. [12 Feb 2007]
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 44
  2. Negative: 3 out of 44
  1. Mikemusicguy
    Feb 7, 2009
    7
    Remember the most depressing Neil Young album you ever heard? Well Lucinda goes beyond it. I like it, I respect it,its real good in a Lenny Remember the most depressing Neil Young album you ever heard? Well Lucinda goes beyond it. I like it, I respect it,its real good in a Lenny Cohen kind of way( most cuts) but can't see myself playing it much except when I want to be bummed out or am already there. She's your cup of tea . I wish she'd switch it up a little. Surely shes happy about something ??? Full Review »
  2. JaniceC.
    Dec 29, 2007
    10
    This CD is ahead of its time; it has legs and you know it.
  3. VanceH.
    Nov 26, 2007
    9
    Count the number of pompous, bombastic sentences in the negative reviews of this album. That number will tell you a lot. West is low Count the number of pompous, bombastic sentences in the negative reviews of this album. That number will tell you a lot. West is low key,contemplative and beautifully produced. What a crime! Full Review »