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Full Circle by Loretta Lynn (Legacy)

Loretta Lynn’s newest album Full Circle, released March 4, starts with grainy audio as Lynn describes the first song she ever wrote. “It was ‘Whispering Sea,’ I think,” says Lynn, explaining that the inspiration came from a simple need to put a full-length album together. “I was fishin’ and I had to get all these songs wrote in two days, so I wrote 12 of ‘em.”

The album then shifts into that first song, “Whispering Sea,” fit with the one-two-three, one-two-three beat of a Texas Two Step and Lynn’s twangy, poignant voice.

The subject matter of Lynn’s music has always revolved around her saddening biography, singing often of her cheating husband, Doolittle, her lowclass upbringing, and the pains of her inability to adapt to women’s prescribed roles. She has always managed, however, to bring a certain comic bend to such events.

“Fist City,” originally released in 1968, is revisited in Full Circle. In it, Lynn addresses her husband’s mistress, singing, “If you don’t wanna go to Fist City/You better detour around my town/‘Cause I’ll grab you by the hair a the head/And I’ll lift you off the ground.”

However, in reality Lynn’s biography was even darker than this. Over her long life, her cheating husband died, along with two of her six children. These dark experiences are shown in Full Circle only slightly in her aged voice, one that once rose and fell with a controlled freedom that seemed to run around a room but now trickles off her throat shakily after each note.

—Mariah Taylor

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