Van Lear Rose
This album is a labor of love between one of the living legends of country music and one of the brightest rising stars of genuine rock ’n’ roll. Jack White of the White Stripes brings a fine sensibility to the task of giving the songs, all written by Loretta Lynn, their optimal musical setting, and his production and arrangements are superb. From the dramatic crescendos of the title ballad and the feisty country rock of “Mrs. Leroy Brown” to the minimalist acoustic strum of “Miss Being Mrs.,” White surrounds Lynn’s voice with just the right instrumentation to illuminate the emotional core of the songs. “Little Red Shoes,” the only song on the album with music attributed to White, is a seemingly impromptu narration by Lynn about a childhood incident that flows perfectly with White’s picked steel string accented by a cyclical melodic pattern played on pedal steel guitar supported by sparse bass and brushed snare drum. If you’ve ever enjoyed a country record, go get this one.