Maybe it’s the album’s packaging–an assorted collection of everyday Americans in a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, holding up a uniquely handwritten sign, “Blessed“–maybe it’s the mawkishly bipolar portrayal of mom doing dishes and dad’s legs blown off in the “Soldier’s Song”. Even “Born to be Loved” is well-intended (“You weren’t born to be abandoned / And you weren’t born to be forsaken / You were born to be loved”) but mark-missing, mostly because it just sounds kind of boring coming from her. Maybe it’s because I love Car Wheels On A Gravel Road so much, and this isn’t much like it, but Blessed feels like it’s trying too hard to embrace a humanism that hasn’t been around in much of Lucinda’s other stuff–it’s too “We are the world!” This isn’t to say that there isn’t that same-old Lucinda Williams heartbreak, but there is something missing this time around.  There are a couple gems, though, as always, because Lucinda is a great songwriter, and “Ugly Truth” is one of them. A more accurate depiction than the rest of the album about the human state of affairs: ugly. What’s the ugly truth? That when we’re broken, we hide, but that we can’t. Not surprising, then, that the subsequent track is called “Convince Me” (“Tell me something good / Tell me something new…The whole wide world is falling apart / The whole wide world’s got a broken heart / So, please, please, please convince me”).