Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Loretta Lynn: Still Woman Enough [Legacy, 2021]
The coal miner's daughter turned Fist City better half redoes some of her classics on an all-new album released to honor her 89th birthday: "Honky Tonk Girl," "I Wanna Be Free," Shel Silverstein's protofeminist stroke "One's on the Way." But near as I can tell she'd never before recorded, for instance, Hank Williams's "I Saw the Light" or the 95-year-old "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight." Tanya Tucker, Carrie Underwood, and Margo Price do help, and in a deft bob-and-weave she transforms "Coal Miner's Daughter" itself into a recitation. So all in all the genius who pronounces "wash" with an R in the middle delivers a far smarter and more efficient tribute to her own eternal flair than Jack White's much-bruited Van Lear Rose did when she was a mere 72, long before first a stroke and then a broken hip failed to stop her. A-