Picks and Pans Review: Lucinda Williams

updated 10/20/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/20/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Little Honey

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COUNTRY-ROCK
Her new album may be titled Little Honey, but Lucinda Williams has never been the sugary type. She keeps it raw on this strong follow-up to last year's excellent West, which finds the rootsy singer-songwriter veering more toward rock on tunes like the stomping garage opener "Real Love." Elsewhere she gets gutbucket-bluesy on the ballad "Tears of Joy," while on "Jailhouse Tears" she has some old-time country fun with Elvis Costello. On "Little Rock Star" she speaks knowingly to the Amy Winehouses of the world: "With all of your talent, and so much to gain/To toss it away like that would be such a shame." Amen, sister.

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