Loretta Lends Her Voice to a New Kind of Country
Loretta Lynn has released another staple for American folk music, as well as a new take on it, with her latest album Van Lear Rose.The album is a mix of country, honky-tonk, rock, and more. Lynn – whether singing from her own experience or no – tells stories of childhood, motherhood, and womanhood. The opening title track is your typical Loretta Lynn sound – slide guitars and lilting vocals over a smooth country backdrop. Yet she changes it up with the delightfully different “Portland Oregon,” a duet with Jack White from the White Stripes, who also produced the album. The song starts out sounding slightly psychedelic, with electric guitar inspired by a Vietnam-era America. Lynnâ€šÃ„Ã´s country vocals in contrast with Whiteâ€šÃ„Ã´s breathy voice give the song an enticingly contrasted texture.
White’s influence is apparent in the album’s unpolished sound, though it remains decidedly country. His influence can be heard on such tracks as “Have Mercy,” adding a raw rock flair that meshes well with Lynn’s original sound.
Other songs like “Mrs. Leroy Brown” keep the rock sound dispersed throughout the album, though the rock-n-roll feeling doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t last forever as songs like the folksy “Family Tree” and bluesy “Womenâ€šÃ„Ã´s Prison” remind us of Lynnâ€šÃ„Ã´s roots. “High On A Mountain Top” is gleefully and eerily catchy, while the spoken-word “Little Red Shoes” is a mesmerizing intermission.
The songs are not very long, most between two and three minutes. Lynnâ€šÃ„Ã´s talent shines because of this, showing her penchant for crafting compositions that are short but sweet. The album, though only 40 minutes, is well worth the investment for fans of folk, Americana, bluegrass and country.