Monday, June 21, 2021

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Sound Check


Loretta LynnLoretta Lynn
“Full Circle”

For her first new album in almost a decade, Loretta Lynn attacked the project with a level of expertise and confidence that few in the music game can match. By her own reckoning, the 83-year-old Lynn says she recorded 100 songs for the album, with most of those being finished in one take. The ones that made the final cut offer a look back at the country music legend’s career and offer a fresh way to appreciate one of music’s all-time greats. The opening track — “Whispering Sea” — is the first song Lynn ever wrote and takes listeners all the way back to Lynn’s own personal book of Genesis. From there, “Full Circle” offers deep cuts from her past albums like “Fist City,” paired with a couple of new tracks, “Who’s Gonna Miss Me?” and “Lay Me Down,” that provide interesting looks into how Lynn perceives her own place in the musical pantheon. CV

Violent FemmesViolent Femmes
“We Can do Anything”
Big Hassle

The Violent Femmes are back with its first new material in 16 years — a hiatus perpetuated through the decade-long squabbling of singer Gordon Gano and bassist Brian Ritchie — and, if anything, the time off has only served to re-center the band’s sound. “We Can Do Anything” has much more in common with the quick and dirty sound of the band’s first two albums than with the polished pastiche of  “Why Do Birds Sing?” or “Rock!!!!!” The new album is 10 songs, clocking in at a scant 30 minutes of music, and features mostly single-take recordings that keep the songs from ever feeling too polished. Songs like “Big Car” and “Traveling Solves Everything” may lack the sing-along panache of “Blister in the Sun,” but they feel like true successors to the sound that made the band popular in the first place. CV

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