Loretta Lynn’s new album is ‘Full Circle.’ It’s the first album in more than a decade from the country music legend, and its release coincides with a new documentary. Music critics are weighing in on the highly anticipated new release. Here’s a roundup of reviews.

 Loretta Lynn

Photo: Loretta Lynn

Credit: PR Photos

Her place in country music history is cemented with numerous awards and accolades, including multiple Grammy, AMA and CMA Awards, as well as induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Not to mention she is also a Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree. She’s a national treasure, by any other name. She’s also known to millions for her inspiring rags-to-riches autobiography, song and the 1980 biopic, ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ with Sissy Spacek’s Oscar-winning portrayal.

Now if anyone thought that at age 83 she was coasting along as a living legend, the new album, puts that notion to rest. The album has received nearly universal rave reviews. The timing, as noted coincides with PBS’ new American Masters documentary chronicling her iconic life story, “Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl.”

The new album, ‘Full Circle’ is her first album since 2004’s 2004’s ‘Van Lear Rose’ which was a collaboration with Jack White. Not this time around, she revisits familiar and traditional musical territory with an album produced by her daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell, and John Carter Cash, the son of the late June Carter Cash.

‘Full Circle’ is comprised of 14 songs, most of which Loretta Lynn wrote or co-wrote — both new songs and classics that hark back as far as the 1960s. And, as its title implies, it’s meant as a summary of an amazing and storied career that spans more than six decades. In them she revisits her Appalachian folk and gospel music roots that have been so endemic to her success and fame over the years. The new album arrives in a landscape which sees country music become increasingly commercialized and mainstreamed, and it’s a reminder of what many would consider the good old days when the genre was still “country western.”

Now as the new album arrives in full, the critics are weighing in on what might indeed be the last album from Loretta Lynn. Here’s a roundup of what’s being said.

“….And she closes the set with Mark Marchetti’s “Lay Me Down,” a duet with Willie Nelson where both singers declare, “I’ll be at peace when they lay me down” – true in great part, one imagines, because they made country music according to their own visions. This set is another testament to that……” –Rolling Stone

“…. What commands the spotlight on Full Circle isn’t so much what the archetypal, proudly Appalachian-identified country songwriter has to say as how she says it. These 14 tracks retrace Lynn’s remarkable mountains-to-mansion musical development. ……” –NPR

“….Released as Lynn approaches her 83rd birthday, Full Circle not only deliberately returns the country legend to her Kentucky roots, it’s constructed as a summation of her life…..” –All Music

“… Unvarnished emotion and simple language rolling off her imperfect voice like poetry cemented Lynn’s legacy; Full Circle tries to preserve it for posterity, but with an addendum. Mortality squiggles blatantly through on two new songs, the aforementioned “Who’s Gonna Miss Me?” and album closer “Lay Me Down”, a deeply affecting duet with Willie Nelson…..” –Consequence of Sound

The new album has won the critics, just as the legendary Loretta Lynn has won audiences for more than 60 years even as she has blazed trails. For those just getting caught up, and for those who have been eagerly awaiting her new album, the time has arrived. You can see the ‘Full Circle’ album art below!

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