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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE REVIEWS???????
There were hundreds of reviews for this CD but they have disappeared. Anyhow, I would like to reiterate that Loretta Lynn has released one of the most interesting and innovative country music collections in the history of country music. Admittedly, White Stripes is an acquired taste but the production is stellar, yet simple and heartwarming. Loretta sounds great and the...
Published on August 2, 2004 by a viewer

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12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loretta Rocks?
O.K., I know I'm in the minority here, but I was nowhere near as knocked out by this CD as a lot of others seem to be. As a fan of Loretta Lynn's music since the 60's, I was thrilled to hear "Family Tree" and bought the CD the day it came out. I'm very happy to see one of the true country greats getting so much attention and strong sales, but the majority of these songs...
Published on May 8, 2004 by John Gervickas


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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE REVIEWS???????, August 2, 2004
By 
a viewer "a viewer" (antioch, tn United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
There were hundreds of reviews for this CD but they have disappeared. Anyhow, I would like to reiterate that Loretta Lynn has released one of the most interesting and innovative country music collections in the history of country music. Admittedly, White Stripes is an acquired taste but the production is stellar, yet simple and heartwarming. Loretta sounds great and the CD cover is vintage Loretta. The songs are fantastic and class A material because Loretta wrote them all!! She is second to none as a songwriter. One only needs to hear the title track or "Miss being Mrs. Tonight" to understand this. Forget about country 'pretenders' like "Shania", "Faith", "Reba", "Martina"....Loretta is the real thing. She always has been. She always will be. She has never compromised just to "do what sells". This CD proves that point and I wouldn't be surprised if we see her at the CMAs this fall collecting a few awards for this project!! It is outstanding!!!!
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this CD more than five stars!, August 7, 2004
By 
C. A Ross (Baltimore, MD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
Too be honest- I have been in love with Mrs. Loretta Lynn since I was five and saw her on Hee-Haw. But at 39 her voice and lyrics have blown me away in manner that i was unprepared for in this life. I could fill this review with a great lines about how good the CD is. But I ask you to just listen and you will hear great music, great music- that has no bounds and yet is so country that you will wonder what CMT, GAC and the other nashville idiots who give us Toby, and Kenny, and Jimmy Buffet for God's sake are thinking. People if you really love country and not just the cute butt of Tim or Shania than this what it all about. Take from a man who found what was missing all along with this sweet. sweet woman!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country Music Goddess, January 25, 2005
By 
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
AMAZING- the only word to describe this CD and that doesn't even do it justice. A refreshing and inspiring CD released at a time when country music is just about as commerical as you can get. Loretta Lynn & Jack White stay true to country music while adding a modern element without making it cheesy or pop sounding. Easily one of the best CD's of all time from a true American Icon.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Jack White for turning me on to Loretta Lynn..., January 24, 2005
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
Who would have ever thought that Loretta Lynn would even know who Jack White is...never mind collaborate with him on this masterpiece? Lynn is 70 years old and at times she sounds like a cross between Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. In addition, she wrote every song on this CD while White nicely produced and played various instruments throughout.

The best track here is "Portland, Oregon" which is possibly my favorite song of 2004 by anybody. Great arrangement and tasty slide guitar highlight this duet with White about a one-night-stand. Other faves are the spoken word "Little Red Shoes", the autobiographical "Story of my Life", the powerful lyrics of "God Makes No Mistakes", "Mrs. Leroy Brown" which causes me to wonder again how it's possible that this women is 70, and "Women's Prison" which is about a woman on death row for murdering her cheating husband (is there any other kind?). White plays some nasty guitar that's a representation of the woman's execution at the end of this song.

Sadly, something is seriously wrong with the music industry when the latest Shania Twain release is going to outsell Van Lear Rose by 20 to 1. Thank you Jack White for inspiring me to purchase my first Loretta Lynn album. Now I need to check out some of her catalog and see what I've been missing all these years.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakin' Up Music City, April 29, 2004
By 
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
For a couple of decades the world of commercial
country music has needed some shaking up. While there
have been occasional tremors, it's only fitting that
the artist most likely to turn Nashville on its top is
the same one that jolted it awake 30 years ago.
Loretta Lynn has just released one of the best records
in modern Country Music.
"You've got to have an open mind," Loretta writes in a
letter on her web site, "Van Lear Rose sounds a little
different from my other ones."
A little different indeed! But that's only if you're
not used to country laced with loud grunge guitars,
eerie cross-tuned fiddles, and dark moody lyrics:
"I'm sittin' here on death row / And Lord I've lost my
mind / For love I've killed my darlin' / And for love
I'll lose my life"
Listeners who've followed the progressive music scene
in the last few years have taken note of the
admiration Van Lear Rose's producer Jack White has
shown for Loretta Lynn. In 2001 he dedicated the
White Stripes' breakthrough disc "White Blood Cells,"
to her. Traditional music fans have also noted
White's forays into the roots of rural music with his
participation in the movie and soundtrack to "Cold
Mountain."

"He's got a lot of energy," Lynn says. "He's still a
kid, you know, so he feels like he can jump the river
and turn around and jump back over. He don't think
that nobody's any older than him."
No matter what his age, White has shaken open the
well-springs of country music with his production of
Van Lear Rose. There's a fresh, almost urban taste to
the original blue Kentucky girl's hillbilly twang. All
thirteen songs, each penned by Loretta, flow and swirl
with original energy and emotional resonance.
From the the bare bones, garage-rock anthem "Have
Mercy On Me," thru the down-home sing-along "High On A
Mountaintop," to the spoken word surrealism of "Little
Red Shoes," Lynn shows us how much she's influenced
all those who've drank from her source. A sample of
her clear vocals on Van Lear Rose reveals the strident
earthy flavors of Iris Dement, Lucinda Williams, Nanci
Griffith and so many others.
Van Lear Rose is to modern Country Music what the New
Madrid fault is to the Mississippi River. Whether or
not it reverses the flow of Nashville's generic stream
of boredom remains to be seen. Nevertheless, there's
no doubt that Loretta Lynn has released a brave,
raucous recording that turns Music City upside down --
a disc that is sure to keep fans rocking and reeling
for years to come.
Enjoy,
-Shawn
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LISTEN, January 27, 2005
By 
Liam F. "WLF" (Melbourne, VIC Australia) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
I'm 22, and have never heard of Loretta Lynn before this. I almost feel embarassed calling myself a fan of country music after I found out just how big she was back in those days. Just when the country music scene is heavily populated by artists like faith hill, shania twain and tim mcgraw (I do admit they ARE good) - the comeback of Loretta Lynn is so new, fresh and unique that it feels like the debut of a new artist.

Two things attracted me to this CD. First, a nomination for Best Country Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards and 2 contributions to Best Country Song. Second, the temptation to buy a CD produced by Jack White so much more when the artist concerned is a 70-ish past country big-timer.

Jack White first: After Elephant (White Stripes), I BELIEVED in Jack White. He had the sight for good music, albeit 'weird'. Then, there was a bit of an appetizer on White's talents in country music on the soundtrack to Cold Mountain. But on Van Lear Rose, you shouldn't expect the songs to be as 'folk-sy' and 'mountain-eesh' (if those are proper words) as in Cold Mountain. Jack White has unleashed killer beats and guitar riffs I never imagined could be found on a country CD - let alone on the CD of a 70-year old lady.

On Loretta Lynn - the least that you should pay attention to is, after having said it so many times myself, her age. Her voice boasts strength, clarity and control. Mind you, she SINGS. It is hard to find singers who truly sing nowadays, but Loretta Lynn does it, and boy does she do it well. I was pleasantly surprised by her voice.

Above the voice, is of course, the music. She wrote all 13 tracks on her own - man, her creativity is astounding. I can't name my favourite tracks here, because you don't skip a single song on this CD. 3 songs, in particular, truly packed a punch: "Portland Oregon", "Mrs Leroy Brown" and "Have Mercy". Jack seems to be pushing these songs towards the rock boundaries, but Loretta does a mighty fine job pulling them back to country roots.

Alongside the interesting louder tunes is "Miss Being Mrs", a song Loretta wrote about being a widow. The accompaniment to this song is accoustic guitar and it is so darn good. Other tracks to note are Van Lear Rose, and Story of My Life. Another 'fun' song, but just as good is "Little Red Shoes" where Loretta tells a little story to some background music.

It is this absolutely fantastic team of modern-day rock star and country-western honky-tonk queen that does the job. Both Loretta and Jack have produced a gem of an album. The sound here is slightly atmospheric, perhaps due to the analog production insisted by Jack White.

Van Lear Rose is first class. Sure to nail the Best Country Album award.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Coal Miner's Daughter' is now 'Cool Rockin Loretta', October 19, 2004
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
Country and rock "crossovers" are not new. The Byrds did it back in the 1960's, and for that matter, most of Elvis Presley's biggest hits were equally popular with both rock and county & western audiences. The Eagles and other music acts have managed to also build huge fan bases from both country and rock audiences. Late in life, Johnny Cash managed a few hits that rock & pop audiences liked, and even though Willien Nelson is a "country singer/songwriter", every rock band in Texas thinks he's as cool as they come.

So, Loretta Lynn gets Jack White (White Stripes) to collaborate on a new album. Nothing new right? WRONG! This is a masterpiece. If Loretta Lynn never does another album of songs, this is one that will define her career as surely as anything else she ever did. The collaboratin might seem surprising, but The WHite Stripes dedicated their WHITE BLOOD CELLS album to Loretta Lynn as a major inspiraton. The admiration Jack (and his band mate, Meg) White has is genuine.

Jack White tells people that Digital Is Evil, and The White Stripes use analog recording equipment to record & mix. This CD is analog as well -- done with 8 tracks or less on all songs. So, I guess the corrollary is that analog is good. J. WHite sure makes that case convincingly here.

On a few songs, Loretta Lynn sings with enough passion and intensity to rival Janis Joplin at her peak, or even Robert Plant. Loretta Lynn is a "hall of Famer" nearly 70 years old, yet she sounds like she's just starting out and eager to get noticed -- for all the right reasons.

The production is sparse, not over-orchestrated. It's a lot like the really great country songs of many years ago -- and not that much different in concept from what The WHite Stripes do on their own albums.

"Van Lear Rose" is also a lot like "Hard Again", a Muddy Waters album produced by long time admirer, Johnny Winter. If you're going to check out, then why not do it at the top?

'Miss Being Mrs.' is a sad lament about widhowhood -- but sad songs about loss are what make the best C & W tunes. Same for 'Family Tree' (marital infidelity), and 'Portland, Oregon' (a duet with Jack WHite) which recalls past love.

This "comeback" is magnificent. Check it out.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, December 22, 2004
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
The title song from the album, 'Van Lear Rose' has to be one of the prettiest songs I've ever heard. I recently saw Loretta talking about the album on TV, and she said wrote that song for her mother, because her mother was the most beautiful woman she'd ever seen. That is so touching. I really love 'Portland, Oregon' too. If you've read "Still Woman Enough," her second memoir, you know the story behind the song. Let's just say she gives hubby Doo a little taste of his own medicine. The whole album seems to be a reflection on her life. The song 'Miss Being Mrs.' makes me think she is singing to her late husband, and 'Story of My Life' talks about everything--her early life, success, the movie, and her marriage. Overall a great album, worth your twenty dollars.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honky Tonk Woman, August 10, 2004
By 
James Ferguson (Vilnius, Lithuania) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
Loretta Lynn has never sounded better. From the evocative Van Lear Rose to the soaring High on Mountain Top, she never misses a beat. This CD is sure to please long-standing fans and new listeners alike. The grand lady of Nashville is in top form, belying her 70 years, and leaving the impression that she will remain the towering force she is in country music for years to come.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mix of Genres is Great: Loretta's Got it!, February 10, 2005
By 
This review is from: Van Lear Rose (Audio CD)
Usually when musical genres combine the result is effectual and interesting but not very good. But this isn't a usually and Loretta Lynn and Jack white aren't Usual people. Loretta Lyn's music is terrific because it is SO REAL. It is clean pure and straight from her hear and at 70 years old she continues in this direction. I am not a country music fan but have always a special fondness for Loretta Lynn's music. Jack White's band, The White Stripes is able to do more with Guitar and drums than any other band in recent history and while Jack himself is a bizarre person who at times seems like a rodeo clown or something his ability to make his music "work" is astounding.

One listen to this album will clarify exactly why it has received so much acclaim. Loretta Lynn has a lot of music left in her and her voice though mellow and mature is still strong and powerful. I am glad that Jack White has stepped out of his genre and is an adept musician. And for the two of them the mixing of country and punk (which might seem to be the hardest button to button) is a perfect fit. This is a must have and lets hope these two see some Grammy's for their great work.

A great album.

-- Ted Murena
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Van Lear Rose
Van Lear Rose by Loretta Lynn (Audio CD - 2004)
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