Sweet Old World is Lucinda Williams’ classic 1992 album, and it is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year. Lucinda has chosen to mark this occasion not with a reissue, but with a re-version: she has re-recorded new performances of each of the original album’s tracks, drawing out new resonances through here matured voice. This Sweet Old World is released by Highway 20 and Thirty Tigers.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 25 October 2017
She’s really re-releasing an album called ‘This Sweet Old World’ in this pure garbage year. Lucinda Williams is going out on a limb, folks. Good on her, though: her shiny take on a ruined universe is almost believable when you hear it coming through her radio country rock, her life coach vocal growls riding in over distorted guitar twang and the kinda melodies that make you want to grab your keys and rush out to your car.
Originally released back in 1992, when the world may have been sweet, but wasn’t for an unborn me, she’s decided not to just reissue the record but rework it. Get Youtube Doubler up, folks, you’re gonna have to see how they match up for yourself. With new cleaner techniques, she re-rocks a bunch of tracks that already felt more preeminent to the roots rock around her, offering jolts of Springsteen-esque emotional lightning. Williams music has developed, through the years, with the expanse of the studio, so ‘This Sweet Old World’ feels like a nice way of referencing the journey she’s taken to get to this sound. As always, it’s her cover of Nick Drake’s “Which Will” -- untangled, and slowed to match the passing hours of moonlight -- that gets me, right at the end, but this is a wonderful celebration of old-school Williams and how it might exist now.
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