Still Woman Enough
Loretta Lynn, at 88, still sounds amazing. She still has grit and fight in her voice and her soulful, determined country music still burns. Here, in something of a victory lap, she goes back through the catalogue and re-ignites the fires. She features a few guests – and they sounds genuinely chuffed to be there. Naturally. Margo Price – whose debut album played in a loving nod on the title of Loretta’s famous Coal Miner’s Daughter, sounds like she’s been rehearsing her whole life to singe One’s On The Way with her spiritual godmother.
Tanya Tucker enjoys a tussle on You Ain’t Woman Enough and Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood shine on the opening title track.
There are songs here that Lynn has performed before, and songs that have been around forever in one version or other (Keep On The Sunny Side, Old Kentucky Home) and songs that are so crucial to Loretta lore – I’m A Honky Tonk Girl for example. The net effect of Still Woman Enough is the artist throwing a shindig in her own honour, paying tribute to herself. And why not!
Quality control is part of the secret of Loretta’s great catalogue. This is her 50th album and as she’s been making music for some 60+ years there really isn’t much in the way of a dud; time and care taken to present only the very best. There was a bout of ill-health in recent times, a stroke, and this is Lynn’s triumphant return to recording. But in 2016 with Full Circle she made what now feels like a dress-rehearsal for his record. Another strong set of songs, another towering set of performances.
She really is the surviving queen of country music. And as she stands at the top of the mountain the song she sings still sounds so good. This record, co-produced by Patsy Lynn Russell (her daughter) and John Carter Cash (Johnny Cash and June Carter’s son) sounds as good as an album in 2021 by a living legend of country could sound. Everything about this sparkles and shines. As it should. The class act remains. And these songs, and these treatments, are resilient and resplendent.
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