Loretta Lynn
Van Lear Rose



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

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

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.

Recent reviews by this author
Jon Auer Songs From The Year of Our DemiseBruce Springsteen The Rising
Semisonic Feeling Strangely FineThe Clarks Let It Go
Our Lady Peace NaveedThe White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan

user ratings (32)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 7th 2008


Have Mercy was produced by Jack White.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy