Song of the Day #3,969: ‘Lonely Girls’ – Lucinda Williams

My list of favorite albums in recent years is so dominated by female artists that it’s a shock to look back at 2001 and see how bro-tastic my tastes were then.

Lucinda Williams’ Essence, my #6 album of that year, is the only work by a woman in my top ten.

Now, in my defense, I haven’t found a lot of strong female contenders among the albums I missed out on in 2001. Maybe it just wasn’t a strong year for women in music. But it is striking, especially coming off of a year when five of my top seven albums were by women.

Essence was Williams’ follow-up to 1998’s classic Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. It’s a much different album than that one, far more introspective and moody. It’s all sparse arrangements, bare-bones lyrics, and a quietness that makes you want to hold your breath while listening.

This album contains some of the most lovely, aching songs of Williams’ career, and at a time when she could sell them with very effective vocals. On recent albums, her vocal range has limited her on softer songs but here she’s right in the zone.

Opening track ‘Lonely Girls’ sets the tone for the rest of the album. There’s barely more than 20 words in the whole song, and Williams delivers them like a mantra warding off bad spirits.

Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls

Heavy blankets
Heavy blankets
Heavy blankets cover lonely girls

Sweet sad songs
Sweet sad songs
Sweet sad songs sung by lonely girls

Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls

Pretty hairdos
Pretty hairdos
Pretty hairdos worn by lonely girls

Sparkly rhinestones
Sparkly rhinesstones
Sparkly rhinestones shine on lonely girls

Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls

I oughta know
I oughta know
I oughta know about lonely girls

Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls
Lonely girls

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,969: ‘Lonely Girls’ – Lucinda Williams

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Lovely, but more like a quietness that makes me want to take a nice nap.😀

    And I’m sure there were women putting out good music in 2001, but, much like your appreciation for country, I think your appreciation for female artists has grown over the years.

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