Lucinda Williams' new album, "Down Where the Spirit Meets the...

Lucinda Williams' new album, "Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone." Credit: AP

Lucinda Williams has never lacked for ambition. But on her 10th studio album, "Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone" (Highway 20), Williams marks plenty of firsts -- her first double album, the first release on her new label and the first collaboration with her father, the poet Miller Williams.

She took his poem "Compassion" and wrote the music and additional lyrics for it, crafting a simple, stunning folk argument. Williams does well with the stripped-down "It's Gonna Rain" and the sweet, Bonnie Raitt-ish country-soul "Walk On." Though sometimes the country-soul weighs down her more adventurous lyrics, it usually kicks the takes into a higher gear.


LUCINDA WILLIAMS

"Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone"

THE GRADE B+

BOTTOM LINE Stretching lyrically once again.

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