Home / The Essential Dolly Parton CD Review

The Essential Dolly Parton CD Review

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The great Dolly Parton has sung her heart out for decades, and her Tennessee voice is one of the most recognizable in music. The beauty of Dolly is her honesty. The opening track of her compilation album is “Dumb Blonde.” No doubt that she is trying to confront the critics that have judged her on looks alone: “Just because I’m blonde / Don’t think I’m dumb / Cause this dumb blonde ain’t nobody’s fool.”

One of Parton’s gifts as a singer is her ability to express herself in every note and word she sings. In “Coat Of Many Colors,” you can hear Dolly’s love for her own mom whenever she sings “my momma.” You can feel a connection and a love for Dolly’s “only one” in “You’re The Only One.”

No matter how many times people sing “I Will Always Love You” trying to emulate Whitney Houston, it will always be Dolly Parton’s song. Whitney had too much music in the song despite her talented, and now legendary, vocals. Dolly knows that the song’s power comes from the lyrics. Throughout the song, there are minimal instruments so her vocals take the microphone, but the words take center stage.

Dolly’s musical range is limitless. She can go from the tearful “Jolene” to the jolly “Love Is Like A Butterfly” to the gospel-inspired “All I Can Do.” If there is one thing that Dolly can do in her music is carry a melody. Listening to “Light Of A Clear Blue Morning,” you can fully understand Dolly’s talent in pitching her voice to the right inflection and tone. In “Tennessee Homesick Blues” she creates the mood without singing words. She hums.

Dolly was always one to blend music together and try new things. “Two Doors Down” is not your traditional country song as “My Tennessee Mountain Home” is. There are hints of both gospel and R&B with enough guitar to make to confuse it with rock. With country music experiencing a resurgence in traditional sounds, it makes Dolly’s work all the more important as artists look to her for inspiration and this two disc set is the perfect stepping stone.

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About Tan The Man

Tan The Man writes mostly about film and music. He has previously covered events like Noise Pop, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, South By Southwest, TBD Festival, Wizard World Comic Con and WonderCon.
  • Nancy

    Don’t know her personally, but seems to me Dolly is definitely a doll, in all the good senses of that word. Talent, beauty, humor – the last not the least of her virtues.

  • Bright

    i love dolly, when i say love i mean i love every thing about her she is number one, she is too good i have about 50 of her cd’s my dad also like her very much i wish i can can see her

  • Right on, Mike. Dolly RULEZ! Mozart was great, but even he never could have written “Coat of Many Colors.”

  • MIKE

    There’s never been a greater vocalist than Dolly Parton…even Alison Krauss admits it and i like Alison ALOT. Two beautiful voices but Dolly is not limited in what her voice can do—DOLLY F%^%$%&& RULES. Like a critic said, “It will only happen when Dolly Parton dies, that the world will then realize that it has lost another Mozart.”

  • zach

    i love dolly! i have collected alot of her cd’s. personally i like the way she looked in the 60’s and 70’s. i really would have had a crush on her then! my dad doesn’t like her, not at all! but i can say that me and my mom do! i was wondering if anyone has any episodes of her hit 70’s show let me know at zacdunc01@msn.com! please and thank you!

  • Alison is more bluegrass where I think Dolly can be more folksy.

  • nugget

    ok sorry. I’m normally one to say that it’s all about the music, (man). I like her shaky and usually heartfelt tracks, but give me alison krauss for that kind of authentic vulnerability.

  • nugget

    DP- anomalous, busty, talented country music singer that told little girls everywhere that dressing promiscuously and singing about Jesus was just fine.

  • Mock me but the opeing to 9 to 5 is one of the best intros ever. …… Also Jolene has long been in my top, er , 100 say.

    And “A Lil’ Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place” from Best Little Whorehouse just has a great chorus. A lot of fun, but just hearing the word “pissant” in a Southern accent is worth the price of admission. Er, so to speak.

  • You know it!

  • Go, Tan, go. Dolly is rock rulin’!