Alt-country queen Lucinda Williams lost her way for a while there. More specifically, she misplaced her mojo, her sass, her joy. After climaxing with the1998 commercial breakthrough Car Wheels on A Gravel Road, Williams detoured down a path of sorrow until dead-ending into the rote despair of last year's West. The Louisiana-native finds her feisty muse on the satisfying libido-at-large Little Honey (Lost Highway) its very title a wonderfully base reference to man sugar.
The album, though, is by no means a honky-tonk take on the tacky Madonna game of menopause horniness - Williams is too damn wise for that high-risk routine. The record is as much about finding a good-time guy, and true love, whatever that is, as it is about being left in the dust by another modern-day drifter.
For too many albums, the singer/songwriter groaned and warbled about being alone over melting steel guitars rather than plugging in and rocking a barn-burning kiss-off like "Changed the Locks," from her highly underrated self-titled 1988 album. On Little Honey, Williams strikes the fierce balance that made that disc, 1992's Sweet Old World and 1998's Car Wheels a holy trinity of alt-country releases.