Song of the Day #4,492: ‘Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings’ – Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams’ seventh studio album, World Without Tears, is my #8 album of 2003. This record was Williams’ follow-up to 2001’s plaintive Essence, and it finds her in a very different mood.

Much of World Without Tears is relentlessly bleak, touching on sexual abuse, drug addiction, domestic violence and historical atrocities. Fun!

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Song of the Day #4,491: ‘2 Become 1’ – Jewel

I feel like history caught up with me when it comes to my #9 album of 2003, Jewel’s 0304.

The earnest acoustic singer-songwriter’s abrupt move into dance-pop territory was greeted with suspicion and derision at the time. Jewel was called a sell-out who embarrassed herself by embracing her sexuality and exploring a musical genre so far outside her wheelhouse. But I kinda loved it.

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Song of the Day #4,490: ‘Clear Blue Day in Limbo’ – Stew

It’s time for the next installment of my Decades series, wherein I dive into the albums from a certain year across four decades. It’s time to close out the 3’s. After covering 1973, 1983, and 1993, I’ll dedicate the next few weeks to 2003.

As always, I’ll start by counting down my favorite albums from the year, and then turn my attention to some of the critically-acclaimed records with which I’m less familiar.

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Song of the Day #4,489: ‘Not Too Much To Ask’ – Mary Chapin Carpenter

Today’s song is the second single from Mary Chapin Carpenter’s 1992 album Come On Come On. ‘Not Too Much To Ask’ is one of seven tracks from the album to reach the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart (it peaked at #15).

Four of those cuts made it to the top five, helping make this the best-selling album of the country singer-songwriter’s career.

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Song of the Day #4,488: ‘Leah’ – Bruce Springsteen

‘Leah’ os a lovely grace note in the middle of Bruce Springsteen’s 2005 album Devils & Dust, an otherwise somber collection. This song isn’t exactly ‘Walking on Sunshine,’ but compared to some of the downers on this record, it may as well be.

Springsteen has released a lot of good albums in the 15 years since Devils & Dust, but I’d call this record his last great one. It has an intimacy and power you don’t encounter very often.

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