Add Loretta Lynn to that list. Still Country proves that Lynn, even from the back side of 60, can still outsing virtually any "hot" new-country contenders; she could outsing Faith Hill from an iron lung. Producer Randy Scruggs has placed Lynn's voice in settings that, while occasionally fussy and precious, are also strikingly contemporary. For example, the synth-inflected "Working Girl" sounds like a modern version of Lynn's classic "One's On the Way," with references to Raquel Welch and the Pill replaced by lyrical nods to Oprah and American Express. More than a few tracks here could very well top the charts if only their singer had a tummy more tanned and toned than Lynn's likely is.
Still, Lynn's album is steadfastly old-school in at least one important respect; it's about loss. Over the past decade, she lost a son, two brothers, longtime producer Owen Bradley, duet partner Conway Twitty, friend and peer Tammy Wynette, and, most devastating, her husband of nearly 50 years. So when Lynn confronts the terror of being "On My Own Again," she knows of what she sings. Even minus the bio, however, there's no missing the anguish of "I Can't Hear the Music." When he said 'I love you, baby,' that was music to my ears, she sings, her voice literally a sob. Like mortality, country music that rings this true will always be relevant.