Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Album Review: Loretta Lynn- Wouldn't It Be Great

Loretta Lynn
Wouldn't It Be Great
**** out of *****

In 2016 Loretta Lynn released the excellent Full Circle. It was the first release culled from a huge  collection of tracks that were recorded at her leisure by her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash. After a Christmas album, now comes Wouldn't It Be Great the third (of a planned five) in a series which allows Lynn to look back on her best tracks, covers and tunes she just liked to sing. While parallels can clearly be drawn to Johnny Cash's American series, Lynn is totally in control, sounding vibrant in these tracks; it is hard to believe she is 86 years old.

The opening title tune is a take on her song that was first released in the mid 80's then again with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette in the 90's. This version is stripped down with simple acoustic backing and Lynn's solo vocal performance which is stately and yearning, not only a great song writer, an exceptional singer. Her newer effort "Dying For Some One To Live For" is embedded with a more melancholy sense of failure and longing that seems flat but drives the songs point home even stronger.

Lynn sings "The Big Man" (co-written with Shawn Camp) to show her devotion to God above by twisting proverbs and blossoming with her vocal take. The mid tempo waltzing with strings "Another Bridge To Burn" is pure Nashville roots country while the fiddle led "Ain't No Time To Go" and the murder ballad "Lulie Vars" push more into Appalachian folk mountain territory before the delicate "My Angel Mother" finding Lynn backed only by a acoustic guitar on a number she first released back in 1968 and still sounds sweet.   

Her feisty side comes out in the pep in your step, pissed on a Friday Night, brand new track "Ruby's Stool" finding Lynn still fighting for her man in sneaky fashion. The excellent tune is just another example of her top notch song writing before one of her most famous tunes "Don't Come Home A Drinkin'" solidifies that notion in a more upbeat manner using steel guitars, banjos and soft backing vocals.

Lynn is and always has been one of American Country musics best songwriters and while a few of the tracks don't really improve on the originals ("God Knows Best") all the songs on Wouldn't It Be Great find Lynn in killer voice with tastefully strumming strings. On the disk closing steel guitar driven biographical "Coal Miner's Daughter" Lynn sings and smiles through the pain and proves that even at this juncture she is worth hearing as Wouldn't It Be Great continues her late career string of top notch records.   
Another stunningly great collection of fantastic songs from Loretta Lynn. Full Circle made RtBE's top ten in 2016 and this may just do the same this year.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video:

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