Sweet Old World

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Sweet Old World
Lucinda Williams-Sweet Old World.jpg
Studio album by Lucinda Williams
Released August 25, 1992
Genre Roots rock
Length 45:27
Label Chameleon
Producer Gurf 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] On April 28, 2017, Williams performed the album in its entirety at Minneapolis' First Avenue nightclub; the live recording will be released to commemorate Sweet Old World's 12-year anniversary in August.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide A[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]
Q 4/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[7]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 8/10[8]

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.[9] Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it 6th on his own year-end list,[10] 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".[11] 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",[12] 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."[13]

In a retrospective review for The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Dave Marsh 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.[7] 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.[14]

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]
  • UK Country Charts (OCC) - #19


  1. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. Sweet Old World at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 August 2005.
  2. ^ Werner, Chad (May 1, 2017). "Lucinda Williams revisits 'Sweet Old World' at First Avenue". City Pages. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Lucinda Williams". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan. p. 335. ISBN 0312245602. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ Altman, Billy (October 9, 1992). "Sweet Old World Lucinda Williams > Music Review". Entertainment Weekly (139). p. 60. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Q. London (December): 141. 1992. 
  6. ^ Jurek, Thom (September 3, 1992). "Recordings: Sweet Old World Lucinda Williams". Rolling Stone (638). p. 68. Archived from the original on 2 October 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007.  Posted January 29, 1997.
  7. ^ a b Marsh, Dave (2004). "Lucinda Williams". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 875–876. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Lucinda Williams". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  9. ^ "The 1992 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. New York. March 2, 1993. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 2, 1993). "Pazz & Jop 1992: Dean's List". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (2001). "Encore From a Utopia". The Village Voice (June 12). New York. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  12. ^ Audio (December): 154. 1992. 
  13. ^ Stereo Review (December): 94. 1992. 
  14. ^ Friskics-Warren, Bill (1998). "Southern to the Roots". The Washington Post (June 24). Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ Sweet Old World - Lucinda Williams - Awards

External links[edit]