Loretta Lynn
Van Lear Rose


3.5
great

Review

by Serenity USER (12 Reviews)
February 11th, 2007 | 1 replies | 3,688 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose marks a return to form for one of the legends of country, bolstered by the production work of Jack White. With several outstanding songs, this is a very good album and reccomended even for non country fans (translation: almost

0 of 1 thought this review was well written

Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose:

Jack White isn't exactly the first name that comes to mind in considering producers for a Loretta Lynn. Yet his signature White Stripes style--the minimalist, low tech approach, plays perfectly to Lynn's strength. Gone is the glossy overproduction of some of her more recent efforts, and in its place is a more raw, pure effort. The songwriting is tight throughout; only one song is longer than 4:00 and many clock under 3:00. The total running time is 38:30


The title track offers a great glimpse at made Loretta Lynn the star she is, that being her stellar storytelling ability. Here, it's a down-home love story with a twist at the end. ****

Portland, Oregon is a different track, for sure. Starting out with a frenetic intro that sounds more like a country tinged Broken Boy Soldier, it leads into a sort-of-wandering, cutesy duet for Lynn and White that sounds more like a White Stripes song than Lynn's work. They're having a lot of fun with this one. ***

Trouble On the Line is a beautiful, waltzy country track with light percussion and some great instrumental work. It's a short song, at under 2:30, and begs for repeated lesson. *** 1/2

Family Tree leans more toward old school, with a a fiddle and an acoustic guitar backing Lynn's tale of a country love triangle. It's a track that echoes Lynn's early work. ***

High on a Mountaintop is old school, straight old school, a mountain sing-a-long. I'm not too fond of it but if you dig that style, you'll no doubt like it. **

Little Red Shoes, the only song with White's name in the credits, is a spoken word track. It has very nice instrumentation to it, with a nice groove, so your opinion on it will depend on whether or not you like spoken word. I don't. **

God Makes No Mistakes is one of the strongest lyrical tracks on the album, and shows Lynn's deceptively complicated and meditative abilities, addressing spirituality and tragedy with a language simple and yet very much not. Again with very strong production, too: where other producers would've bogged the track down with excess sacharine melodrama, White sticks to drums and pedal guitar. It's a memorable and powerful track. ****

Women's Prison is another track that echoes Lynn's earlier work, very strong storytelling. It's another song that benefits tremendously from White's sparse, loose production. ***

This Old House, the other track with Jack White providing vocals, is an up tempo, folksy number. It lacks a real chorus, but has a series of nice verses. ***

Mrs. Leroy Brown is a lot of fun. It sounds very influenced by White, with electric guitar and a thudding bass drum leading into a loud romp packing signature Loretta Lynn attitude. *** 1/2

Miss Being Mrs. directly addresses Lynn's being a widow. Here she projects vulnerability and mournfulness without ever becoming fatuous or desparate. In a great decision, there's little more than an acoustic guitar backing her. *** 1/2

Story of My Life, as the title suggests, is a an autobiographical number, mid tempo, packed with lyrical cleverness. Great album closer. ***

So, in conclusion, this is a very nice album. It's also an album that you can get into without being a big fan of the genre overall.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
JAStewart
April 7th 2008



180 Comments


Have Mercy was produced by Jack White.



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