Tammy Wynette

The First Lady

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The country music on this record moves along with the elegance of a deer cautiously approaching a riverbank. The songstress seems at the height of her powers, able to orchestrate each phrase and establishing a near alter ego relationship with the pedal steel guitar. What might keep listeners from returning over and over to this particular bottle of country wine would be the repetitious nature of the songs. This album gives the impression that producer Billy Sherrill decided to somehow follow or even top "Stand by Your Man" in terms of having a female singer either cooing in submissiveness or pleading to be let back into the arms of a particular man. It proves too daunting a task for the producer in his second role as author or co-author of a good chunk of these songs. Nothing has the rip-roaring thematic grandeur of "Stand by Your Man," and boredom sets in. The second side provides a too-brief glimpse of the glory that could have been with "Sally Trash," a wonderful song that easily ranks among Tammy Wynette's best recordings.

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