I am absolutely head over heels in love with the new Loretta Lynn album, entitled Van Lear Rose.
It is fascinating for several reasons. First, it is interesting to hear how hipster minimalist Jack White (of The White Stripes–you may remember him from the film Cold Mountain) handles a full band (and a country band at that).
Secondly, Loretta Lynn is amazing (and sounds even better), especially considering that she just turned 70.
Lastly, I think it is interesting that an artist that has released more than 70 albums and has never taken a break in her career is, in the eyes of the press, staging a “come back.” It’s ridiculous.
Let’s face it. The only reason Jack White produced this album, the only reason it is being released by Interscope, the only reason it will win a slew of awards, and the only reason it will sell zillions of copies is because Loretta Lynn has been tapped as this year’s “re-discovery”–the same territory plowed over the past few years by Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Ralph Stanley, and at least four times by Bob Dylan. However, she deserves teh praise, so it’s hard to be too upset about it.
Loretta is the backwoods O.G., and unapologetically so. The work is simple, much less polished than she’d like to think it is, and endearing. She has always been the insider’s outsider. In that regard, this album doesn’t change a thing.
However, it rocks. Totally rocks.