Loretta Lynn: Still Woman Enough review – a spirited victory lap

Fifty albums in, the country star and guests are in the mood to celebrate

It’s a brace of golden anniversaries for Loretta Lynn – her 50th album arrives 50 years after her most celebrated one, Coal Miner’s Daughter – and her first recording since recovering from a 2017 stroke feels like a gentle victory lap. With just one new song – the title track, a gutsy bawler with Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood – the rest is a spirited if not subversive amble through her back catalogue and some old-time country classics. Coal Miner’s Daughter (which also appeared on 2018’s Wouldn’t It Be Great) becomes an emotional recitation, while her 1960 first single, I’m a Honky Tonk Girl, is given a bright, warm polish, with the benefit of six decades of oak in the voice. Rootsy but professional takes on the Carter Family’s Keep on the Sunny Side and Hank Williams’s I Saw the Light, meanwhile, are pure and joyous, while a sentimental, autoharp-spangled waltz through TB Ransom’s I’ll Be All Smiles Tonight brings a melancholy as sweet and keen as if you’d just been chucked yesterday to the 142-year-old ballad.

It’s the collaborations that make it, though: a dust-up with Tanya Tucker on 1966’s You Ain’t Woman Enough, and a duet with Margo Price (who called her 2016 debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter) on 1971’s One’s on the Way, in which a harried Topeka woman reflects on how “the girls in New York City, they all march for women’s lib” as children bawl and the housework piles up. It’s a lightly satirical delight.

Watch a trailer for Still Woman Enough


Emily Mackay

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Loretta Lynn: Full Circle review – a fine set of new songs and old favourites
At 83, Loretta Lynn really does come full circle (with a little help from Willie Nelson)

Phil Mongredien

06, Mar, 2016 @8:00 AM

Article image
Loretta Lynn: Still Woman Enough review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
An album of flinty classics and sparky duets, full of resolve – the extraordinary country singer shows no sign of slowing

Alexis Petridis

11, Mar, 2021 @11:30 AM

Article image
Loretta Lynn: Full Circle review – still a force to be reckoned with
The female fury that shook up 1960s Nashville still packs a punch mixing nostalgia with new tunes

Robin Denselow

03, Mar, 2016 @6:15 PM

Article image
Loretta Lynn hospitalised with pneumonia
Country singer cancels two concerts but, according to her website, is 'doing well' and plans to resume touring in November

Sean Michaels

24, Oct, 2011 @9:03 AM

Article image
CD: Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose


Alexis Petridis

30, Apr, 2004 @2:08 AM

Article image
Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl review – all hail the grand ole queen of Appalachia
She’s been a country music legend for more than 60 years. This documentary may not have delved too deep into her painful past or her low-down husband, but when a life story’s this good, it doesn’t matter how you tell it

Lucy Mangan

19, Mar, 2016 @6:00 AM

Article image
Kesha: Rainbow review – a woman unchained
After years of legal wrangles, the former purveyor of pop fodder delivers a strong third album that deserves to be a hit

13, Aug, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Loretta Lynn moves past well-trodden origins to a spot in country's pantheon
Full Circle, the singer’s 55th album, is out this month and on it she retells her story for the uninitiated, while conjuring new tricks for the faithful

Mark Guarino

23, Mar, 2016 @1:43 PM

Article image
Loretta Lynn and Jack White to be inducted into Music City Walk of Fame
Lynn and White to receive tributes along Nashville’s Music Mile

Tshepo Mokoena

15, May, 2015 @7:12 AM

Article image
Angel Olsen review – hear her roar
The spectral-voiced ‘queen of sad’ challanges her fans to keep up with a groove-laden assault on folksy cliche

Bernadette McNulty

23, Oct, 2016 @7:00 AM