Comments on Lucinda Williams "World Without Tears"

I just purchased it and enjoying it. She is on tour with Neil Young & Crazy Horse this Spring and Summer.
Can you compare it to her last two? I loved Gravel Road but
hated Essence. Makes me hesitate on this one.
It got trashed in a review in the Washington Post. They say it's so dark and hopeless it borders on satire. I'll have to listen for myself though, I love most of her earlier work.
It is more "Essence" than "Essence" - but that's just from my first listen. The sound is fabulous and the simplicity she was striving for in Essence seems to come off better this time - simple, simple songs, yet beautiful and unique. Time will tell.
I really like it. Can't compare it to "Essence" since I don't have it, but it's in the same general class as "Car Wheels.."
I don't own any Lucinda CD's yet, but I caught her with Neil Young on 6/26 at MSG. She was undoubtedly the highlight of the show. Her guitarist ripped the place up and her pain soaked vocals were the real thing. Neil on the other hand burdened the crowd with his "audio novel" Greendale for an hour and a half. He had shoddy, props corny actors and rough video footage going on simultaneously. The narrative piece about The Green Family and Greendale the town they live in was like Mayberry RFD with politics thrown in. After it was over (yawn!), Neil played only 5 or 6 songs from his earlier period. No Buffalo Springfield or CSNY stuff. I would've felt cheated had it not been for the discovery of Lucinda Williams. She alone was well worth the inflated (140$ per ticket) price of admission.
Well I finally picked up the "World Without Tears" CD. I guess
it was never really a question as I'm a huge Lucinda fan, I
was just disappointed with "Essence." I have to agree with
Redkiwi's comments. Stylistically WWT is far more similar to
Essence than Car Wheels, but the songwriting is much stronger
than Essence. It's still not as good as Car Wheels, but most
definitely worth the price of admission.