Sweet Old World

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Sweet Old World
Lucinda Williams-Sweet Old World.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 25, 1992
GenreRoots rock
ProducerGurf Morlix, Dusty Wakeman, Lucinda Williams
Lucinda Williams chronology
Lucinda Williams
Sweet Old World
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Sweet Old World is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams. It was released on August 25, 1992.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer GuideA[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[3]
Q4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[7]

Sweet Old World was voted the 11th best album of 1992 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of prominent music critics.[8] Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it 6th on his own year-end list,[9] later writing that the album was "gorgeous, flawless, brilliant [with] short-story details ('chess pieces,' 'dresses that zip up the side') packing a textural thrill akin to local color".[10] In a contemporary review, Audio magazine said Sweet Old World proves Williams is "a riveting writer and performer whose apparent simplicity is merely the entranceway to a rewarding artist of depth",[11] while Stereo Review wrote "She delivers her searing lines without artificial sentiment or extraneous embellishment, just a wrenching directness that nourishes the spirit and knows no detour to the heart."[12]

In a retrospective review for The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), David McGee and Milo Miles later wrote Williams was a "damned determined artist" on Sweet Old World, in which the perspectives of her previous work--"adult, Southern, female, sensual but neurotic"—were stronger and more focused.[6] AllMusic's Steve Huey said it was just as good as her 1988 self-titled album, calling it "a gorgeous, elegiac record that not only consolidates but expands Williams' ample talents."[1] Like her self-titled album, Bill Friskics-Warren wrote in The Washington Post, Sweet Old World showcased Williams' "sharply drawn odes to desire and loss", sung with a "grainy drawl" and backed against a "lean, bluesy roots-rock" sound.[13]

On April 28, 2017, Williams performed the album in its entirety at Minneapolis' First Avenue nightclub; the live recording was released to commemorate Sweet Old World's 25th anniversary in August.[14] She re-recorded the album more to her liking and released it later that year as This Sweet Old World. Emmylou Harris covered the title song on her album Wrecking Ball.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Lucinda Williams except where noted.

  1. "Six Blocks Away"
  2. "Something About What Happens When We Talk"
  3. "He Never Got Enough Love" (Williams, Betty Elders)
  4. "Sweet Old World"
  5. "Little Angel, Little Brother"
  6. "Pineola"
  7. "Lines Around Your Eyes"
  8. "Prove My Love"
  9. "Sidewalks of the City"
  10. "Memphis Pearl" (Williams, Lorne Rall)
  11. "Hot Blood"
  12. "Which Will" (Nick Drake)



Billboard Music Charts (North America) – Sweet Old World

  • Top Heatseekers – #25[15]


  1. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. "Sweet Old World – Lucinda Williams". AllMusic. Retrieved August 10, 2005.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Lucinda Williams: Sweet Old World". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. p. 335. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Altman, Billy (October 9, 1992). "Sweet Old World". Entertainment Weekly. New York (139): 60. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  4. ^ "Lucinda Williams: Sweet Old World". Q. London (75): 141. December 1992.
  5. ^ Jurek, Thom (September 3, 1992). "Lucinda Williams: Sweet Old World". Rolling Stone. New York (638): 68. Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2007.
  6. ^ a b McGee, David; Miles, Milo (2004). "Lucinda Williams". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). London: Fireside Books. pp. 875–876. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Lucinda Williams". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  8. ^ "The 1992 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. New York. March 2, 1993. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 2, 1993). "Pazz & Jop 1992: Dean's List". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (2001). "Encore From a Utopia". The Village Voice (June 12). New York. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  11. ^ Audio (December): 154. 1992.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  12. ^ Stereo Review (December): 94. 1992.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  13. ^ Friskics-Warren, Bill (1998). "Southern to the Roots". The Washington Post (June 24). Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  14. ^ Werner, Chad (May 1, 2017). "Lucinda Williams revisits 'Sweet Old World' at First Avenue". City Pages. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Sweet Old World - Lucinda Williams - Awards

External links[edit]