Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

Album Review: Dolly Parton – Rockstar

Rockstar, shortly announced after Dolly’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame took myself, and most of the music world by surprise. Having initially declined the honor of nomination, Dolly took it upon herself to record an album of rock songs so that it would be more appropriate for her nomination, and subsequent induction, to the RARHOF.

  1. Rockstar (special guest Richie Sambora)
  2. World on Fire
  3. Every Breath You Take (feat. Sting)
  4. Open Arms (feat. Steve Perry)
  5. Magic Man (feat. Ann Wilson with special guest Howard Leese)
  6. Long as I Can See the Light (feat. John Fogerty)
  7. Either Or (feat. Kid Rock)
  8. I Want You Back (feat. Steven Tyler with special guest Warren Haynes)
  9. What Has Rock And Roll Ever Done For You (feat. Stevie Nicks with special guest Waddy Wachtel)
  10. Purple Rain
  11. Baby, I Love Your Way (feat. Peter Frampton)
  12. I Hate Myself for Loving You (feat. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts)
  13. Night Moves (feat. Chris Stapleton)
  14. Wrecking Ball (feat. Miley Cyrus)
  15. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (feat. P!nk and Brandi Carlile)
  16. Keep On Loving You (feat. Kevin Cronin)
  17. Heart of Glass (feat. Debbie Harry)
  18. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (feat. Elton John)
  19. Tried to Rock and Roll Me (feat. Melissa Etheridge)
  20. Stairway to Heaven (feat. Lizzo and Sasha Flute)
  21. We Are the Champions
  22. Bygones (feat. Rob Halford with special guests Nikki Sixx & John 5)
  23. My Blue Tears (feat. Simon Le Bon)
  24. What’s Up (feat. Linda Perry)
  25. You’re No Good (feat. Emmylou Harris & Sheryl Crow)
  26. Heartbreaker (feat. Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo)
  27. Bittersweet (feat. Michael McDonald)
  28. I Dreamed About Elvis (feat. Ronnie McDowell with special guests The Jordanaires)
  29. Let it Be (feat. Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr with special guests Peter Frampton & Mick Fleetwood)
  30. Free Bird (feat. Ronnie Van Zant with special guests Gary Rossington, Artimus Pyle and the Artimus Pyle Band)

Honestly, I’m not sure where to start regarding this review. Rockstar, shortly announced after Dolly’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame took myself, and most of the music world by surprise. Having initially declined the honor of nomination, Dolly took it upon herself to record an album of rock songs so that it would be more appropriate for her nomination, and subsequent induction, to the RARHOF.

We have to give it to her – the absolute tenacity and willingness to step out of her comfort zone as if she had something to prove (but here’s a secret, she has NOTHING to prove to any one of us). A living legend, she can do what she wants.

The album meanders, significantly, throughout various genres. Although there are some rocking moments, her ineffable twang pulls the songs back to feeling more like a country record. Despite this, the cover of “Every Breath You Take” as a duet with Sting is absolutely solid, and just works. “Open Arms“, a Journey cover featuring Steve Perry himself is an unexpected treat, and takes me back to the 80s when I first heard the song as a young child. The song’s vocal range is absolutely fitting for Dolly, and it’s stunning in the gravitas that Perry brings to top it off.

There are so many stand-outs on the record, that it’s astounding. As she weaves, musically, from 80s arena rock to blues to contemporary music and back and forth, she has created a musical tapestry that is quite fitting for her. “Purple Rain” remains very faithful to the original, with only slight changes to the arrangement.

All in all, this is a modern day Dolly masterpiece. Everyone will find something they enjoy on this record.

Final Thoughts

Although it’s her first rock album, and the banter doesn’t always work, this is a fantastic rock record from Dolly.

Overall

90

Vocals

95

Mix

100