Good Souls Better Angels is the latest album release from Lucinda Williams. A heavier, grittier blues sound than her previous releases, it’s also her most topical. The songs deal with “the dangerous world we live in, the constant barrage of a frightening news cycle, depression, domestic abuse, a man without a soul – and, yeah, the devil.”
Opening with You Can’t Rule Me – a bluesy number with great slide guitar and probably the closest to a dance number from Lucinda – the album grabs your attention. Big Black Train talks about depression, and is one of those songs that makes you want to stop what you are doing and listen. Wakin’ Up – about domestic abuse – has a great drum beat throughout, some awesome guitar, and is somewhat reminiscent of Ani Difranco.
Whilst there are no bad songs on this album, the more standout tracks – in addition to those already mentioned – are Shadows & Doubt, When the Way Gets Dark and Good Souls. They are some of the more melancholic tracks on the album, but Lucinda is great at writing a sad song.
As is to be expected, Lucinda’s voice is more gravelly than on her most famous albums and that works brilliantly with the subject matter and the style of this release. There is a sound of the World Without Tears album to some of the tracks, with the heavier instrumentation similar to songs like Righteously.
This is a good album – one that you want actually sit and listen to, then listen to again. Whilst this album is a product of its time, it‘s one that should last.
Good Souls Better Angels was released on Highway 20 Records/ Tiger Tiger on 24 April. An independent record store only release on translucent double LP is also available. You can purchase at this link