Bring in the Noise

Lucinda Williams has always been a poet. With her terrific new album, she's now a poet who rocks

For decades, the American record-buying public has made its position clear. People do not want poetry mixing with their popular music any more than they want Fred Durst speaking in full sentences. Avril Lavigne's level of complexity and Alanis Morissette's version of irony will do just fine for the drive to the shore, thank you. The two legendary exceptions are Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Both have a poet's gift for turning common words into indelible images and a rock star's knack for churning out melodies that make their poetry subliminal. They bring the pain and the noise.

It's tempting to...

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