Top critical review
For Completists Only
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2020
I have been a long time fan of Lucinda Williams. But her recent work has been self-indulgent and and uninspired. As other reviewers of this album have noted, her singing has also deteriorated. She often sounds like she is on drugs. She slurs more than she sings. Or as someone else noted, it sounds like she has a mouth full of marbles. And the songs are largely uninteresting, far from the Lucinda Williams of "Happy Girl Blues," or "Sweet Old World" or "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" or "Blessed" or even "Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone." "Good Souls Better Angels" is, frankly, the worst album of her career. It would be a form of torture to listen to this in concert. Williams seems to be operating under the fantasy that if she continually repeats the same line a dozen or more times, that some degree of profound moral insight will have been expressed. There is one pretty good song on this album and that is "Shadows and Doubts." "When the Way Gets Dark," "Down Past the Bottom," and "Good Souls" rise to the level of acceptable mediocrity. On the other hand, "Wakin' Up" is a particularly dreadful affair. The cover photograph of Williams is a pretty accurate indicator of what you can expect in this overwrought exercise.