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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Dolly Parton: Pure & Simple

dollyDolly Parton
Pure & Simple
(RCA Records Label Nashville)

Buy it at Amazon!

The sweet shuffle of “Pure and Simple,” about the pure and simple wonderfulness of good love, opens Dolly Parton’s 43rd solo album, Pure & Simple. This 10-song album (a 10-song greatest hits second disc is packaged with the Walmart and international editions) began from some intimate shows Dolly performed at the famous Ryman Auditorium a year ago. From there, the 70-year-old country legend figured she’d present this stripped-down record and a tour to promote it.

It’s on the tunes where it’s pretty much only Dolly, a simple backing of acoustic guitars and fiddle or pedal steel where this record (and actually Dolly’s performances) work best for me. “Can’t Be That Wrong” is a starkly-put tune about cheating. I love this idea coming from a strong female’s point of view. “Forever Love” has Dolly declaring her love over sweet strings and picked acoustic with probably her best vocals here. The ballad “Mama” presents a tribute to mothers with just Dolly and a piano. “Outside Your Door” has organ and drums leading over the full band mix, about a woman ready, willing, and needing what she so obviously needs from her man. “Head Over High Heels” is sassy-chick-acting-like-a-peacock-to-get-her-man tune with a singable chorus. “Forever Love” has Dolly declaring her love over sweet strings and picked acoustic, probably her best vocals here. “Lovin’ You” ends Pure & Simple with its harmony vocals, pedal steel, and simple snare hits.

Dolly Parton is a legend and Pure & Simple, with its simply brilliant songwriting (and don’t forget that second disc of greatest hits!), proves once again why she is.

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Dolly Parton: Pure & Simple