Album Review: Dolly Parton’s ‘Pure & Simple’

With the recent renewal of her vows to Carl Dean, Dolly Parton must be feeling more than a little flirtatious these days.

I say that because on her latest album, romantic relationships really seem to at the forefront of the album’s lyrics.

And, to quote Seinfeld…”Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

The singer manages to touch on all aspects of a relationship on this disc, with “Kiss It and Make it Better” testifying as to what a simple touch at the right time will do for a couple. Then, she turns up the sensual heat just a few touches on “Outside Your Door,” where she’s not obviously not talking about just one touch – but a night. Her voice exudes as much charisma and yearning as she ever has before. Longtime fans will also take note of “Head Over High Heels.” It continues the flirtatious trend of the album, but it also details some of her legendary style tips!

Photo courtesy Webster PR

Photo courtesy Webster PR

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.

The cream of the crop – from both a lyrical and vocal standpoint – here has to be the confessional “Can’t Be That Wrong.” It’s a lyric that is quite telling, though one that all of us – male or female – have felt at one time or another. We’ve all had that question at one time or another, and once again Dolly Parton proves to be a spokesperson for all the emotions we feel at times – “right” or “wrong.”

She also tips the nostalgic hat to a couple of her more romantic hits with Porter Wagoner – “Say Forever You’ll Be Mine” and “Tomorrow Is Forever,” but it’s truly the new material here that shines the brightest – = – and that is a very good thing that she continues to grant us occasional glimpses into her genius – as well as her imagination!

Pure & Simple is available for pre-order HERE.