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Essence [CD]

Lucinda Williams Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 7.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Image of album by Lucinda Williams


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It’s not all that hard to find an artist who’s capable of offering a guided tour of life’s dark clouds – nor is it rare to come into contact with one who can hone in on the silver lining. But the ability to do both with equal grace, well, that’s an altogether rarer gift – and it’s one that Lucinda Williams displays ... Read more in Amazon's Lucinda Williams Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Essence + Sweet Old World + World Without Tears
Price For All Three: 20.96

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 May 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Mercury Records Ltd (London)
  • ASIN: B00005B8GS
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,852 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Lonely Girls (Album Version) 4:020.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Steal Your Love (Album Version) 3:150.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. I Envy The Wind (Album Version) 3:130.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Blue (Album Version) 3:530.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Out Of Touch (Album Version) 5:290.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Are You Down (Album Version) 5:260.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Essence (Album Version) 5:510.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Reason To Cry (Album Version) 3:430.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Get Right With God (Album Version) 4:170.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Bus To Baton Rouge (Album Version (New Mastering)) 5:520.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Broken Butterflies (Album Version) 5:400.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Few artists in recent memory have been able to wring more from less than Lucinda Williams. The hauntingly beautiful, wistful and often breathtaking Essence is another case in point of how far raw emotion and honesty can carry an artist. Williams's singing is at its paralyzing best throughout 11 bare originals, an incredibly affecting vocal performance by a woman who was not blessed with exceptional tone, range or pitch. Throughout, her voice is incredibly naked, vulnerable and wrought with feeling. "Blue" and "Broken Butterflies" are gorgeous anti-lullabies whose simple melodies belie their poignant ruminations. The title track is a sultry and susceptible sex-as-drug come-on while "Reason to Cry" has all the hallmarks of a classic country lament. The only departure from the subdued mood is "Get Right With God", a rousing gospel tune that practically begs for salvation through punishment and is the rare acknowledgement of a world beyond Williams's own fears and desires. More meditative than the personal narratives found on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Essence is ultimately more powerful. Williams wallows in sorrow and weakness, and the result is moving and disarming. --Marc Greilsamer

Product Description

Lucinda Williams ~ Essence

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proven creative genius 9 Jan 2002
Format:Audio CD
When I first heard this album, it didn't have an instantaneous effect on me, as did 'Car Wheels', but like a fine wine, it's been maturing on the rack, and it's taste now is better than I ever thought possible. It's probably more of a winter album, whereas 'Car Wheels' is probably more of a summer album. This is maybe because it's more melancholy than it's predecessor. But it doesn't sound any the worse for that.
The opening track 'Lonely Girls' is a good lesson in musical minimalism; the odd guitar chord, some rasping vocals - a pedestrian pace yes, but the overall effect is a delightful melancholy, which at the same time manages to sound uplifting. 'Steal Your Love' is similar in style. 'I Envy the Wind' and 'Blue' sound sad, but like a lot of sad things, they achieve a beauty all of their own, and the latter track is my favourite on the album. The rockier tracks 'Out of Touch', 'Essence' and 'Get Right With God' are equally pleasing.
'Go find a jukebox and see what a quarter will do' is the opening line of 'Blue', my favourite track on the album and is a lyric I could not have come up with in several lifetimes. This may have something to do with the fact I'm not from the deep south USA, but this woman is quite simply a genius. If you haven't discovered Lucinda Williams yet, discover her now and buy this album.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical - like snow on Christmas Day 27 Sep 2001
Format:Audio CD
How do you follow a Grammy winning album of mostly upbeat, country tunes played by a full sounding, hard-playing band? The easy answer would have been to dish up more of the same, not to waver from the successful formula established on 'Car Wheels On A Gravel Road'. Not so, if you're Lucinda Williams.
Essence strips down the arrangements and slows the pace of the songs to a melancholic crawl, and while the band arrangements remain, songs here are driven by softly played acoustic guitar. And it is every bit as magical as the much-loved 'Car Wheels', but Williams has added a new dimension of intimacy. On tracks such as Blue, where her voice is so prominent in the mix, you can feel and hear the emotion and raw beauty of the simple tune. Listen to this through headphones and it sounds phenomenal, as if she were in the room with you.
Standout track is the title track, a grinding, slow-burning ode to sexual desire and lust which features the most astonishing backing vocal performance from Gary Louris (Jayhawks). Having said that, there aren't any tunes here that don't stand out after repeated listens.
Lucinda Williams has always put raw emotion into her music, but it has never sounded as affecting or genuine as it does here. Curl up on your sofa with a bottle of wine and this album, and watch the winter evenings go by.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet old lucinda 3 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Lucinda is awesome, and this record like her last three (including Lucinda Williams, Sweet Old World, and Car Wheels) are tremendous records. This record is perhaps less country than you would anticipate, think Emmy-Lou's Wrecking Ball. If you 've never heard of Lucinda Williams before, start with 'Lucinda Williams', if you have, what the hell are you waiting for. It gets better than this, but not much.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reflective subtle and enchanting 20 Sep 2001
Format:Audio CD
This is another excellent album from Lucinda Williams but very different from "Car Wheels" - don't come expecting more of the same. For a start it's not as instantly accessible as "CarWheels". The whole feel of the album is (mostly) more low key, more down beat, more reflective. Some of this is down to the production on this album by Bo Ramsey and on "Car Wheels" by the TwangTrust - so you've got a whole different feel straight away. But underneath that you have incredibly strong, incredibly subtle songs. Lucinda Williams always seems drawn to ambiguous uncertain emotional areas. This is the seam she has worked for a long time and that's still where she is here. In general, this album seems darker than much of her previous work. There's always a dark side there but here it seems more to the fore. If you want happy, shiny songs then this ain't the album for you. But if you want to listen to one of the best songwriters around today attempting to portray the complexities of a deep emotional life then here it is. It's an album I've found growing on me more and more - don't take first listen as all there is. Much as I think this is an excellent album, if you're not familiar with Lucinda Williams I wouldn't start here. Get "Car Wheels" or "Lucinda Williams" then come back here later. But do come back - it's worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burner as the sticker on the CD stated.... 12 Jun 2001
Format:Audio CD
Id never even heard of the lass prior to being bought a copy for a recent birthday. I'm not exactly a country fan so was rather bemused to be given this CD, and approached with trepidation.Nevertheless, after several listenings I rate it quite highly. A female Neil Young perhaps with a voice akin to Ricky Lee Jones maybe. Decent, for the most part laid back music. Worthy of a place in my collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Following on from the wonderful "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" was never going to be easy, but on Essence lucinda Willaims shows just why she is the Queen of Alternative country music. Quieter and perhaps more reflective than "Car Wheels", "Essence" consists of 11 beautifully put together songs. Rarely launching into electric guitar except on "out of touch", "get right with god" and the brilliant title track "Essence", this a compelling album. For "Lonelly girls" everywhere, and me well I'm off to find the "Bus to Baton Rouge".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Lucinda
Heard some of her tracks on a recent BBC Drama, and just had to get this album.
One or two average tracks, but on the whole the rest are well produced and performed by a very... Read more
Published 12 months ago by G S Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically brilliant.
Great album - her best I think - better than Car Wheels ... eleven very different songs, not a dud among them. Read more
Published 18 months ago by delwboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy
Sad, but sexy. If you're a man and this doesn't turn you on something has fallen off whilst you were sleeping. Sensual voice, great songs, beautiful and accomplished musicianship.
Published 18 months ago by sut
5.0 out of 5 stars Achy Breaky Heart
Hurt and desire mapped by a country poet. Charlie Sexton sprinkles gorgeous guitar lines like gold dust. Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2005 by B Moraes
5.0 out of 5 stars if Neil Young had been a woman...
If Neil Young had been a woman, he probably would have been Lucinda Williams; both have that world-weary angst, both have rather thin voices that are decidely not pretty, but that... Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2004 by Alejandra Vernon
2.0 out of 5 stars What in tarnation is all the fuss about?
As an occasional fan of CW, my eyes were caught by a feature article in the local paper on singer Lucinda Williams and her latest release, ESSENCE. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2003 by Joseph Haschka
5.0 out of 5 stars For me this is the album of 2001
Having lived with this album for 6 months I have to admit when I first heard it I wasn't sure about some of it as I had been such a big fan of "Car Wheels....". Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2001 by Dr Roots
5.0 out of 5 stars the more you listen, the better it gets !!
I just can't stop playing this c.d.!
It seems to get better with every play ;whether it's the opener"lonely girls", which justs rolls along... Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2001 by rockinjohnny12
3.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing after Wheels
Too wishy washy, not enough angst and, frankly, too Nancy Griffithy. I guess it's a bit like books - we only have one to offer; the rest is let's do it agin.
Published on 4 Aug 2001
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