This Classic Album Review looks back at one of the most popular albums of 1971. Lynn Anderson was arguably the hottest act in country music in 1971. Three trips to number one on the singles chart, plus 3 top 5 albums, as well. “How Can I Unlove You” was one of those #1 hits, while the album of the same title, would peak at number two. Let’s look back at the album How Can I Unlove You.
The album starts strong with the title cut. A number one in October of that year, it’s an up-tempo track that is one of Lynn’s best singles. The strong start continues with the next cut, “Don’t Say Things You Don’t Mean”. It’s a good song enhanced by Lynn’s strong vocal work.
Up next, Lynn performs the James Taylor classic “You’ve Got a Friend”. This could have been a great cut, but it wound up a bit overproduced. I prefer the way Taylor recorded it, with a minimal backing. Lynn’s vocal is good, but a backing like the original, would have made a better, result.
The weakest cut on the album is her version of “Easy Lovin’”. Her recording sounds at times, as if it’s almost too high for her vocal range. It’s at the top of her range. Lowering it a key would have made it better.
“Here I Go Again”, a great recording by Bobby Wright, and was his biggest hit. Lynn’s version is as good. Lynn nails it, here; one of her best performances on the album. Great song, great vocal; need I say more?
“What’s Made Milwaukee Famous”; a track that doesn’t do much for me, either way. Her performance is okay, but no one could do this song justice like Jerry Lee Lewis did.
Side two starts with Lynn’s version of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. This is one of the best cuts of the album. Her version is almost as good as the John Denver version. It’s at this point, the album starts hitting its groove. The next cut, “There’s Never Been Anyone Like You” is a perfect vehicle for Lynn’s vocals. This had single potential; it’s that good.
One of the album’s hidden gems is “All Day Sucker”, and it’s a song with a “get stuck in your head” melody.
“That’s What Loving You Has Meant to Me” is a song that, by itself, is average. But, A great Lynn Anderson performance, mixed with an excellent arrangement, elevates the track.
The side wraps with a great love song, “Simple Words”. It’s a song that’s beautifully tender, but not syrupy.
Lynn Anderson is at her vocal on this album. The album, itself, is a bit uneven, but overall, very good, but with a couple of tracks that didn’t do it for me. Yet, the second side is so good, that by the time it ends, you find yourself wishing there was more to hear. An album that is a fine addition to any classic country collection. I rate it 3.5 out of 5.
About Thy Author
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina, including his current gig. He hosts the weekly World Famous Ultimate Twang Radio Show. You can listen Thursdays, 4-7p ET on WSFM-LPFM/AshevilleFM, at 103.3 FM in Asheville, North Carolina, and online at ashevillefm.org. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.