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Dolly Parton – Blue Smoke – The Best Of album review

The country legend releases her new album with a greatest hits compilation.

Dolly Parton
Credit: Sony Music

Dolly Parton is an absolute legend isn’t she? The country music icon will be in the country later in the month for some live shows including a slot at Glastonbury. Ahead of that she’s releasing her 42nd studio album Blue Smoke as a joint venture between her own label an Sony Masterworks.

Blue Smoke was released in the US back in January and has given Dolly her best chart position on the Billboard 200 ever entering at number 6. Not that we needed proof that everyone still loves Dolly but that’s a huge achievement for the country icon. The album opens with the title track which combines vocal harmonies for a stirring song that you can’t help but sing along to.

For Blue Smoke Dolly has teamed up again with Kenny Rogers for highlight You Can’t Make Old Friends which is an emotive moment on the record. She also duets with Willie Nelson on From Here To The Moon and Back which she previously recorded for her movie Joyful Noise and Willie previously recorded for his 2013 album All The Girls. Dolly also covers Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice and puts her own winning spin on Bon Jovi’s Lay Your Hands On Me.

Elsewhere on the record Dolly offers the ready-for-radio Home which is her current single, keeps it simple for the gorgeous Miss You, Miss Me, shows off her humour on the funny Lover Du Jour and ends on a soaring note with the inspirational Try.

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For the UK release Blue Smoke has been packaged with a Best Of CD featuring 20 of Dolly’s greatest hits. Included on the disc are classics such as I Will Always Love You, 9 to 5, Jolene and Islands in the Steam with Kenny Rogers. There’s also some newer tracks such as Better Day, from her 2011 album of the same name, and a duet with Smash star Jeremy Jordan on From Here To The Moon and Back.

Blue Smoke is Dolly’s best studio album in years and honestly it didn’t need to be packaged with her greatest hits. The fact that it is makes it an essential purchase but without the greatest hits, Blue Smoke stands strong as one of Dolly’s finest efforts. That irresistible charm is still there and she’ll always be the leading lady of country music in our eyes.


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