Patty Griffin's latest effort should come with a Prozac prescription. You have to go back to Billie Holiday's Gloomy Sunday for material this dark and depressing. Holiday, of course, could wallow in despair with the best of them (she was the best of them). Griffin's discontent, however, seems to be more in the nature of a whine on tiresome tracks such as "Useless Desires," "Cold as It Gets" and "When It Don't Come Easy." The only relief from this disc's unrelentingly somber, self-pitying tone is the title song, the inspirational "Man of La Mancha" favorite that Griffin sings with her parents, who are amateurs (and sound like it). But even when she's singing about grimly determined teenage girls walking to Florida in their bare feet (on "Florida"), Griffin—with her ethereal voice and soulful, blues-based style—is always musical, and she's effectively backed by a band including Lisa Germano on violin and Ian McLagan on piano.