Dolly Parton’s new album Pure & Simple is her 43rd to be released in her almost 60 year long music career. It consists of love songs produced and written by Dolly, herself, and released on her very own label, Dolly Records. In 2016, Dolly and her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary making this collection of love songs particularly special. As always, she writes from the heart.
The stripped back instrumentation and production throughout the album allow for the lyrics shine as she shares her stories. The first single lifted off the album, also titled Pure & Simple, is an earnest expression of love, pure and simple in it’s lyrical content and accompanying music. Say Forever You’ll Be Mine is similar to the Pure & Simple in it’s simplicity and feel. The ballad Can’t Be That Wrong stands out for its endearing melody sung by Dolly in her sweet soprano vocal tone and is accompanied by guitar. It later swells to a fuller sound when a mellow organ and soothing backing vocal harmonies are added to the mix. I’m Sixteen starts with a fun, rhythmic vocal entry. Dolly goes on to sing “Goes to show you’re never old, unless you choose to be, and I will be sixteen forever, as long as you love me”. It’s all about how love can rejuvenate a person and keep them young at heart. Forever Love includes a string quartet supporting Dolly’s expressive melody. The album Pure & Simple is not only a celebration of romantic love; in the song Mama, Dolly sings about her love for her mother and all the ideals a mother embodies to her.
The album also comes with a bonus disc containing ten gems from Dolly’s celebrated career, including Jolene, a cover of The Beatles Help!, Islands In The Stream and I Will Always Love You.
Dolly Parton’s charming new album Pure & Simple is a beautiful expression of all the good things about love. When you listen to each song, you are taken back to that simple moment when you first fell in love. Certainly a feel good album!