Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No. 485: All Time Greatest Hits

Band: Loretta Lynn
Album: All Time Greatest Hits
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: One of country's biggest stars, Loretta Lynn's 2002 compilation is a one-stop shop for anyone learning to love her music. She sings of booze, men and jealousy with aplomb.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Maybe it's just my bias against country, but I could not get really into this record. It's pleasant enough, but it's not as good as the other country on this list, be it Haggard, Parton or Cash.
Best song: "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" is great.
Worst song: "Trouble in Paradise" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: Bad timing. I can't enjoy this as much as I should, due to recent listens to Merle Haggard.

Loretta Lynn is basically worshiped by Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes. It's understandable, as she's, clearly, a tough lady. Her songs don't fuck around. She will cut you if you cross her. In the grand country tradition, she has big hair and an even bigger voice.

"All Time Greatest Hits" is the definitive single-disc country compilation of Lynn's. An accomplished gospel singer, her grit is evident on the record. She threatens a potential interest in her man on "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)," and the divide between two in "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man."

For a gospel singer, Lynn's amorous songs are a little striking, but fun nonetheless. "Out of My Head and Back in My Bed" and "Wine, Women and Song" and "One's on the Way" are such songs.

The music isn't entirely new and listening to this one directly after "Branded Man" is not good timing. It sounds less than Haggard's masterpiece, though that could just be my untrained-to-country ear. Nevertheless, a fun set.

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