Lucinda Williams' "Fruits of My Labor"

A new live version of a staggeringly powerful song.

Published May 17, 2005 6:30PM (EDT)

Lucinda Williams has made a lot of powerful music over the course of her career (as well as, although it seems like it's almost taboo to say so, a good deal of fairly unexceptional music), but for me, nothing tops "Fruits of My Labor," the opening track of 2003's "World Without Tears," a song that just floors me every time I hear it. It's bitter and it's tender, it's petulant and it's wise -- and if I'm resorting to silly juxtapositions to describe it, it's only because I don't know a better way to capture the staggering vitality and rawness of Williams at her best without using the same words (like "rawness") that have been used to describe her work so many times before. Last week, Williams released a two-CD concert record, "Live at the Fillmore," which includes a rendition of "Fruits of My Labor" (download here). In truth, this live version is only slightly different from the album version, so this post is really just an excuse to shout to the heavens and the Internets about how staggeringly good this song is.

By Salon Staff

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