WHEN Lucinda Williams released her breathtakingly brilliant eponymous debut in 1988, she revived Gram Parsons’ dream of creating cosmic country music.

Williams, with her distinctive, lustrous drawl and world-weary lyrics, was ideally suited to carrying the “alternative country” torch, with Emmylou Harris running out of steam and Steve Earle yet to hit his stride.

Since then Williams, driven by her unique brand of aggressive self-doubt and lyrical evocation of the landscape of the southern states, has crafted at least two classic albums in Car Wheels On A Gravel Road and the original Sweet Old World.

Now she has brilliantly reimagined and updated the latter, with fresh adaptations of Sidewalks Of The City, Lines Around Your Eyes and Drivin’ Down A Dead End Street, a song that knocks you out cold. And that’s not all. There are four extra tracks that didn’t make the original 1992 album, including the desperately sad Dark Side Of Life, which comes straight from Williams’ searching, melancholy soul. Absolutely terrific.