Album: Loretta Lynn

Van Lear Rose, Interscope
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The Independent Culture

Now nearly 70, Loretta Lynn has recorded about the same number of albums, her earthy charm and no-nonsense attitude establishing her as the straight-talking elder stateswoman of country music. Jack White, a huge fan, believes her to be "the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century" and has backed this up by producing what is, amazingly, the first of Loretta's albums for which she's written all the songs. He's treated her material less conservatively than usual, with a rocking Burritos flavour to "Mrs Leroy Brown", and an easy, rolling gait to the singalong "High on a Mountain Top", where fiddle and community vocals carry the message, "We live, we love, and we laugh a lot". The pair duet on "Portland, Oregon", the story of a drunken one-night stand - "Well, sloe gin fizz works mighty fast/ When you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass" - and how the sober reflections of the morning after are most rapidly dispersed with another pitcher. But this is an album mostly about women - the

Now nearly 70, Loretta Lynn has recorded about the same number of albums, her earthy charm and no-nonsense attitude establishing her as the straight-talking elder stateswoman of country music. Jack White, a huge fan, believes her to be "the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century" and has backed this up by producing what is, amazingly, the first of Loretta's albums for which she's written all the songs. He's treated her material less conservatively than usual, with a rocking Burritos flavour to "Mrs Leroy Brown", and an easy, rolling gait to the singalong "High on a Mountain Top", where fiddle and community vocals carry the message, "We live, we love, and we laugh a lot". The pair duet on "Portland, Oregon", the story of a drunken one-night stand - "Well, sloe gin fizz works mighty fast/ When you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass" - and how the sober reflections of the morning after are most rapidly dispersed with another pitcher. But this is an album mostly about women - the wife confronting the other woman in "Family Tree", the inhabitant of "Women's Prison" being strapped into the chair for a crime of passion, and the lonely widow of "Miss Being Mrs", doubtless drawn from her own experience.

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