- Personnel: Lucinda Williams (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Doug Pettibone (electric guitar, mandolin, background vocals); Jim Christie (Wurlitzer piano, organ, drums); Taras Prodaniuk (bass).
- Recorded at Real Music Studios Incorporated, Los Angeles, California.
- WORLD WITHOUT TEARS was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. "Righteously" was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
- Personnel: Lucinda Williams (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Doug Pettibone (electric guitar, mandolin); Jim Christie (Wurlitzer organ, drums).
- Audio Mixer: Mark Howard.
- Recording information: Real Music Studio, Inc., Los Angeles, CA.
- Photographer: Danny Clinch.
- Arrangers: Doug Pettibone; Taras Prodaniuk; Jim Christie.
- Though it's ultimately a less balladic, more stylistically varied album than its dreamy predecessor ESSENCE, WORLD WITHOUT TEARS starts out with a slow-burning, reverb-drenched ballad, but then takes a sharp turn into sensual lyricism, pounding drums, and churning guitar on "Righteously." For some time, the dominant topic of Lucinda Williams albums has been the edgy appeal of dangerous, often doomed men, and true to form there are plenty of those on WORLD WITHOUT TEARS. Witness the tragic anti-hero of "Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings," the troubled guy with the "sexy crooked teeth" in "Overtime," or the psychologically damaged character whose "Sweet Side" still calls out to the singer.
- That's not the whole story, of course; there's also the raw, stomping blues of "Atonement," where Lucinda comes off like a frenzied hellfire-and-brimstone Old Testament preacher, and the hip-hop/Americana collision of the socially conscious "American Dream." Whether she's spitting fire or crooning sweet messages of solace, though, Williams is a strikingly communicative singer, and the mere sound of her voice lends an instant weight to whatever song it graces.
Rolling Stone (4/17/03, p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Pedal steel, harmonica and Wurlitzer flesh out her songs' gorgeous amalgams of country, blues and Southern rock..."
Spin (5/03, p.109) - "...WORLD marks Williams' return to the painful sensuality of the specific....The closest Williams has come to that perfect, elusive sound she's always been after..." - Grade: A
Entertainment Weekly (4/11/03, pp.75-76) - "...Looser, blowsier, and more what-the-hell? than anything she's done..." - Rating: A
Uncut (01/04, pp.84-7) - Ranked #19 in Uncut's "Albums Of The Year 2003"
Uncut (5/03, pp.88-9) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...It's the most extraordinary smorgasbord of styles, moods, modes, a far more daring, jolting record than 2001's ESSENCE..."
CMJ (04/07/03, p.8) - "...Williams' raw emotionalism and uncensored lyrics give listeners a direct window into her boozed and battered soul..."