Album reviews: Special guests join Dolly Parton for a rock-out recording project

The septuagenarian songstress’s 49th studio album feels like a marketing ploy, with a questionable choice of tracks

Dolly Parton: the acclaimed country singer’s has just released her 49th studio album


Dolly Parton

Rockstar (Butterfly Records)

Wall-to-wall guitar solos aren’t the first thing you would expect to hear at the start of a Dolly Parton album, but that’s exactly what you get for the acclaimed country singer’s 49th studio outing. You sense she is having fun here, part tongue-in-cheek and part rocking out like a 77-year-old superstar might want to do.

Rockstar is a double album (30 tracks spread across 140 minutes), so unless there is a longish car journey or flight in the offing it’s unlikely anyone bar the Parton devotee would be sitting down with it for the duration. Dipping in and out of it, however, raises certain questions, notably about the choice of songs, which range from utterly predictable (Every Breath You Take, Heart of Glass, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Stairway to Heaven, We Are the Champions, Let it Be, Free Bird) to intriguing (Purple Rain, Wrecking Ball, Night Moves).