Dolly Parton’s new album is ‘Pure & Simple.’ It’s the 43rd album from the country music legend, and music critics are weighing in on the highly anticipated new release. Here’s a roundup of reviews.
Yes, 43 albums, and counting, and no hint that this is a swan song. A legend, an icon, a national treasure; pick your favorite laudatory superlatives and the now 70-year-old Dolly Parton embodies them all. Her influence ranges from the expected haunts of Nashville to Broadway to the big screen and more She’s a trailblazer in the business world, as well, becoming a mogul with the likes of Dollywood, her theme parks and many other endeavors. And she did so years before many other music artists followed that template which, thanks to her and a few others now exists.
Not that she is intent on resting on laurels. Not only is Pure & Simple an album, it’s also the name of her current tour which she has brought to venues all over North America to critical acclaim. Reaching 60 cities, it’s her most extensive tour in 25 years.
The album itself is extensive; it’s a double disc set whose full title is ‘Pure & Simple With Dolly’s Biggest Hits.’In a written statement, Parton said, “This new Pure & Simple project is really special to me because I’m taking my fans back to my roots. I feel like these songs have a pure, tender side, and we didn’t go overboard with arrangements.”
The UK edition of the album includes a recording of her live show at Glastonbury Festival in 2014, and, as such, she’s drawn notice from critics on both sides of the pond. Here’s a roundup of what’s being said.
“….Generally tasteful and acoustic, Dolly Parton’s 43rd studio album is most effective at its most effortless, as when she breezes with contented charm through the title track’s celebration of uncomplicated love. ……” –Rolling Stone
“….Some great songs, some not-so-great songs, an impressively sharp realism that gets submerged beneath corn and goo: perhaps this album does offer pure Dolly Parton after all……” — The Guardian
“…..Another thing that is very apparent – not that anyone ever doubted it – but that creative pen (or keyboard) of Dolly Parton is as vital as ever. Songs such as the title cut – which makes you yearn for a day that radio painted outside the lines with their playlists a bit – and “Never Not Love You” show that songwriting genius is as strong as it was when she was a teenager writing songs in tiny Locust Ridge, TN……” –Sounds Like Nashville
“….So listeners with tempered expectations and an endless love for Dolly will get what they came for here. There’s enough of her essence to satisfy the most devoted fans, and maybe that’s OK……” –Fox News Entertainment
“….Her 43rd album was never going to be a radical overhaul but it’s demonstrably a collection from a singer of a certain age (Parton turned 70 this year). With its delicate banjo, Never Not Love You has an autumnal flavour, while I’m Sixteen is warmly nostalgic…..” –Evening Standard
“… There is entertainment aplenty, both lachrymose and lively, but the songs are mostly safe and predictable musings on enduring love. …..” –Irish Times
“….Sure, Pure + Simple doesn’t have an instant classic like Parton’s 1973 standard “I Will Always Love You.” But it shows that five decades into her career, Parton isn’t a nostalgia act—she’s still one of America’s most vital country songsmiths. ….” –Entertainment Weekly
“….. This isn’t big-production Dolly. These are songs that focus on her vocals and her storytelling, sweet, kindhearted tales that seem to belong in a simpler time. ….” –Newsday
It’s clear that after a half a century, the country music legend is still leaving an impact upon the world, and, as always on her own terms. You can see the Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple album cover art and music videos below!