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Album Review: Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn by Loretta Lynn
Very Good, Based on 4 Critics
Entertainment Weekly - 79 Based on rating B+
On A Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn usual suspects like Faith Hill and Alan Jackson pay their respects to the country veteran, along with such Music City outsiders as Kid Rock (”I Know How”) and the White Stripes (”Rated X”). Best surprise: Hayley Williams? gutsy ”You Ain?t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).” Taylor Swift, watch your back. B+ Download These:Carrie Underwood?s You?re Lookin? at CountryI?m a Honky Tonk Girl, by Lee Ann Womack See all of this week’s reviews .
Country icon’s songs won’t be boxed in The original Honky Tonk Girl gets a little help from her friends on Coal Miner’s Daughter, which finds country crooners and rock artists reinterpreting the Loretta Lynn catalog. As with most tribute albums, the results are mixed; for every “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind),” performed with appropriate fire by Gretchen Wilson, there’s at least one “Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missing Tonight),” where Lucinda Williams slurs her way from note to note like the town drunk. Other Nashville all-stars—Lee Ann Womack (“I’m a Honky Tonk Girl”), Carrie Underwood (“You’re Lookin’ at Country”), and Reba McEntire (“If You’re Not Gone Too Long”)—contribute perfectly adequate performances, and Miranda Lambert plows duet partner Sheryl Crow into the ground with her saucy delivery on “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which features a cameo by Miss Loretta herself.
An old-fashioned tribute album through and through, 2010’s Coal Miners Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn was conceived as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Lynn’s first single. The celebration includes country singers of all stripes -- mainstream vocalists like Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson & Martina McBride, and Faith Hill rub shoulders with the precise prettiness of Carrie Underwood and the rowdy Gretchen Wilson, not to mention such alt-country stalwarts as Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle & Allison Moorer -- and there’s room for rockers, chief among them Lynn’s latter-day patron Jack White, who lends the White Stripes’ 2001 cover of “Rated X” to the proceedings. The Stripes’ fellow Detroit rocker Kid Rock gives “I Know How” an appealingly greasy treatment, but “Rated X” is the most distinctive thing here -- spare and loose, it’s a genuine reinterpretation, a rarity among these 12 cuts -- rivaled by Paramore’s terrific stripped-down acoustic reading of “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man).
For half a century Loretta Lynn has been one of the queens of country music, and when she started writing her own material a few years after she was signed, she (and Dolly Parton) broke the doors down for women who wanted to write what they sang. Her days as a radio staple have long come and gone, but at least AM stations still play her. Her mostly self-penned 2004 Van Lear Rose album, produced by the eclectic Jack White, won the Grammy for “Country Album of the Year,” even though Nashville basically ignored the release completely.