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Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Artist: Lucinda Williams
Genre: Rock/Pop, Folk
Release Date: June 1998
Note(s): 1999 Grammy for best Folk album and "Can't Let Go"  nominated for best female rock vocal performance

Review by LarryG
4 stars out of 4

The prerelease buzz focused on the fact this was the record that took seven years to make and Car Wheels does have the perfect sound that shows that there were plenty of retakes to make sure any imperfections didn't make it to the final product, but the bottom line is it's a great album. Like Mermaid Avenue, it pays respect to country and folk predecessors while remaining a contemporary work. The lyrics are as literate as any out there and the playing is very strong but, for the most part, it's not just a stiff academic exercise. Whether or not, Lucinda really gets down and dirty in real life, Can't Let Go and Right in Time. Drunken Angel and Car Wheels are great poetry but the music keeps your attention as well. The depth of the album is pretty amazing. The album opens with gems but even later on, Metal Firecracker and Still I Long For Your Kiss are great songs. Only a couple times does Car Wheels drag when the music can't match the poetry of the lyrics.

Here's what others reviewers have to say:

"...Not only is CAR WHEELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD more perfect than the two albums that preceded it...but it achieves its perfection by being more imperfect -- not since the openhearted HAPPY WOMAN BLUES has she gotten so much feeling on tape... 4.5 Stars (out of 5)" Rolling Stone  7/9-23/98, pp.131-132



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