Sweetness and Light

With Little Honey, Lucinda Williams gets happy. Her fans will be happy too

Danny Clinch

Williams' ninth album combines love, goofiness and topflight guitar.

While assured of her status as a great American singer, Lucinda Williams has never been most people's idea of an easy one--someone whose music you'd trot out at a wedding, say, or any other event where keening is frowned on. Williams isn't po-faced; she's so tough that misery, mostly in the form of doomed men and rotten luck, never stands a chance. It's just that in the Williams songbook, misery never seems to stop coming around, which is why the first track on her ninth album, Little Honey, is such a shock. It's called "Real Love," and it's not about losing...

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