I like to think of this song, the title track off Lucinda Williams' first post-Grammy bonanza release, as sultry country, a style that Williams owns the trademark on. Sadly, the album as a whole never clicked for me the way that Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (the aforementioned Grammy bonanza) did, but if any song off Essence struck a chord with me it was this one. Starting each verse with a drawly "Baby, sweet baby," Williams perfectly plays off the drunk-on-love desperation. The song structure is basic and uncomplicated, but the catchy melody is accentuated with jangly guitar riffs that drop in during the verses to give a little extra drama. The lyrics smack of sex, using drugs metaphorically (or, perhaps, vice versa):
Baby, sweet baby, whisper my name
Shoot your love into my vein
Baby, sweet baby, kiss me hard
Make me wonder who's in charge
I'd first recommend Car Wheels On A Gravel Road to anyone new to Lucinda Williams, as that album is simply classic and flawless, but Essence is certainly worthy of attention.