Album Review: Loretta Lynn, Still Woman Enough

Loretta Lynn

Still Woman Enough

I’ve been a fan of Loretta since I was young. I’ve heard most of her songs and even met her at one of her shows. I was excited to hear about this album, which features many classic Loretta moments but doesn’t quite live up to her storied legacy.

“Still Woman Enough” is a basic older woman song. Loretta sings about how she’s seen, done, and tried almost everything, and she’s STILL woman enough when it comes to love. It’s a typically empowering stance from Loretta, but she never makes clear what it is that she’s still woman enough to do.  Sex? Keeping her man? Taking someone else’s man? It’s a bit confusing. Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood join her on this song, but I think their talents would have served better on another song.

On a brighter note, “Keep On The Sunny Side” is my favorite song from the Carter family, and Loretta does it justice. She keeps the traditional sound while adding her own flair with her vocals. I love the mandolin on this song.  Lynn sounds most sincere and engaged on the album’s moments in this vein, with her mountain roots shining through on “Old Kentucky Home” and “I Can’t Feel at Home.”

Surprisingly, the album’s biggest downside is Lynn’s covers of her own material. “One’s On the Way” sounds great with Margo Price on it. I do wish the lyrics could have been updated to reflect modern times, as many of the famous folks she sings about have already passed on.  Also, she’s 88.  The idea that she has one on the way stretches credibility.

In some of the songs Loretta has re-recorded, she sounds like she’s phoning it in. There are too many ballads, and they slow the album down.  The recitation of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was an especially strange choice, given she’s already revisited that song twice in just the past decade.

But one guest spot that really works is Tanya Tucker on “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” which closes the album.  Even if doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the original, Tanya Tucker sounds incredible, providing a good reminder of why she’s been enjoying a comeback of her own in recent years.

Lynn is no stranger to the late career comeback, but Still Woman Enough leans too heavily on previously covered ground to have the same impact as the albums that have preceded it.

4 Comments

  1. I thought Loretta’s last album was the best of her career but I mostly agree with this review. I understand this is all part of recordings she did a while back. Given her age, I am just happy to get anything new from Loretta

  2. I have been a big Loretta Lynn fan since the mid-1960s, and while her voice isn’t what it was back then, she does seem to have recovered some of her vocal prowess with her last two albums.

    I pre-ordered this album and am pleased that it is as good as it is. I think three to three and a half stars is about right.

    Of course, when you get to be Loretta’s age, many of your contemporaries have already gone to their reward, meaning that Ernest Tubb, Conway Twitty, Jay Lee Webb, Kitty Wells, Tammy Wynette, Dottie West, Jan Howard and others are not available to duet anymore

    I am glad to have this album available. I suspect that it may be the last.

  3. …one too many, i thought when listening through it the other day. unfortunately, i did not find anything that i liked very much, apart from the protagonist’s withering voice, which makes this project feel very real and reminded me to enjoy and embrace great singers or remarkable vocalists while they are in their prime. hardly anything gets better with age.

  4. As much as I love Reba, Carrie, and Loretta separately, that song is very messy and hard to listen to. Definitely a missed opportunity.

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