Lucinda Williams has always been about reinvention. Starting in the country-blues space, she eventually moved on to something more rootsy, then rocking. Her newest album, Blessed, is a culmination of all of that, but where her songs were once about the ways the past has already fallen apart, this record deals more with how the present is building up around her. She's also dealing with a first for herself, a form of contentment — happiness, even — on songs like "Convince Me" and "Sweet Love." It's not all that unusual for an artist to find pleasure after years of swollen-cheek heartbreak songs, but from Williams, whose previous eight albums dealt with sadness almost exclusively, it might come as a bit of a surprise. Musically, Blessed still feels like a traditional album, but the sense of hope Williams is feeling is hard to write off as just a fluke.
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