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Dolly Parton – Better Day

Lisa Bentley


Better Day is the 41st album release from the legendary country singer Dolly Parton whose longevity in the music industry has been born from her musical talent, her magnanimous personality and her shrewd business skills – all of which have earned her the title of most successful woman in country music of all time.  Not bad going from a girl who grew up “dirt poor” as she once put it.

The new album is classic Dolly.  Stories of life love and faith told in her trademark honky-tonk style with her ubiquitously recognisable twang leading the vocals.  Fiddles and harmonicas are in abundance and are everything you expect to find on an album of this ilk.  However Parton’s durability in this industry has come from her ability to blend genera.  The album has many styles, mainly routed in country but hints of Blues and Pop are definitely present on certain tracks.

Considering it is her 41st album release and her fourth decade of making music you would think that the sexagenarian would have ran out of things to write and subsequently sing about, however the 12 track album is really rather good.  Parton has managed to create an album with a contemporary feel whilst still maintaining her country roots.

Whilst Better Day has some great stand out tracks such as Somebody’s Missin’ You which is strangely uplifting despite the forlorn topic; Holding Everything which is a rather lovely duet; and the inspirational I Just Might which in typical Dolly style takes adversity head on with a can do attitude and a brilliant crescendo unfortunately it cannot be help but be noticed that none of the songs have the wow factor of some of her masterpieces – 9 to 5, I Will Always Love You and Coat of Many Colours among othersAside from this downfall the album is chockfull of sentimentality, heart and above all Dolly Parton’s beautiful way of turning a pragmatic subject into something really rather magical.