Music: Sound Bites

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Rees

World Without Tears Lucinda Williams (Lost Highway) **** Described by Lucinda Williams herself as a ``natural progression'', World Without Tears finds the multi-grammy winning queen of alt-country expanding her horizons to create her finest record to date. Involving a wider range of emotions and influences than before, Williams may be renowned for her heartbroken country laments, but with this new album she also proves that she can deliver up-tempo material with as much profound conviction and lyrical experience.

Tracks like Atonement recall the vitriolic intensity of Patti Smith while Hendrix-like electric guitar lines surge to the fore.

Accommodating elements of blues, folk, country and rock the album carries a wonderful sense of atmosphere throughout its 13 tracks as tremulous guitars weave themselves around pedal steel, Wurlitzer organ, double bass and brushed drums providing Williams with the perfect backdrop for her authentic and resolute song writing.

Dragon Fly Ziggy Marley (Private Music/BMG) *** It's difficult for Ziggy to escape the shadow of his father's legacy, but when it supplies him with such a rich source of inspiration there's little reason for him to seek detachment. Remaining true to his reggae roots, his debut solo album does carry his father's spirit but also a contemporary sound.

The Essential Janis Joplin (Columbia Legacy) ***** Without doubt the greatest white female soul singer of the last century, Joplin poured her heart into everything she sang. …