Song of the Day #950: ‘Essence’ – Lucinda Williams

I’m very excited. I got an email the other day advertising a pre-order sale of the new Lucinda Williams album, Blessed. It’s due out on March 1.

This will be Williams’ fifth album in ten years, which is pretty impressive for a woman who put out only four albums in the 20 years prior to that.

Around the turn of the millennium, she shook off the perfectionism that made her spend 6 years on Car Wheels On a Gravel Road and started churning out records that were rougher around the edges.

And that was a good thing. While none of her albums since Car Wheels has been its equal, they have all been wonderful in their own right — brilliant, emotional and messy.

Essence was the album that kicked off her current streak back in 2001. It’s a mostly quiet and somber affair with a couple of exceptions. The first is ‘Get Right With God,’ which I featured on the blog last December.

And the second is the title song, ‘Essence.’ This is a hard-boiled, grungy blues song that treats drugs as a metaphor for lust, or maybe it treats lust as a metaphor for drugs. It’s sexy and scary and it’s one of the many reasons I’m excited as hell about a new Lucinda Williams album at the end of the month.

Baby, sweet baby, you’re my drug
Come on and let me taste your stuff

Baby, sweet baby, bring me your gift
What surprise you gonna hit me with

Refrain:
I am waiting here for more
I am waiting by your door
I am waiting on your back steps
I am waiting in my car
I am waiting at this bar
I am waiting for your essence

Baby, sweet baby, whisper my name
Shoot your love into my vein

Baby, sweet baby, kiss me hard
Make me wonder who’s in charge

Refrain:
I am waiting here for more
I am waiting by your door
I am waiting on your back steps
I am waiting in my car
I am waiting at this bar
I am waiting for your essence

Baby, sweet baby, I wanna feel your breath
Even though you like to flirt with death

Baby, sweet baby, can’t get enough
Please come find me and help me get fucked up

Refrain:
I am waiting here for more
I am waiting by your door
I am waiting on your back steps
I am waiting in my car
I am waiting at this bar
I am waiting for your essence

Your essence
Your essence

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #950: ‘Essence’ – Lucinda Williams

  1. Dana says:

    Very good song, but, to be honest, this may be just a little too intense for repeat listening or to seek out similar type songs. This is a bit like how I feel about Fiona Apple–great songs that I appreciate more than like or enjoy at times.

  2. Clay says:

    I’m the opposite… it’s the meatier, more intense stuff that I want to listen to over and over again.

  3. Dana says:

    Meatier yes, more intense not as much.

  4. Xam says:

    Just discovered this song. Can’t stop listening to it. “Sexy and scary”, you say. Very well put indeed.

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