RCA Nashville (label)
13 October 2017 (released)
To date Dolly Parton has released a phenomenal 43 studio albums. While best known as a Queen of Country, Dolly has of course dabbled in a huge array of genres and collaborated with a whole host of names. This year alone she has been on high profile releases from her Goddaughter Miley Cyrus and Kesha. Yet with everything she has achieved in her career, there is one surprising area she has never explored. While she runs The Imagination Library, a charity which promotes access to books for children around the world, and has often spoken of her love of children, Dolly has never released an album targeted at the children's market. All that changes this year as with her 44th studio album Dolly releases I Believe In you, which is a collection of classic hits and new compositions targeted at the younger audience.
Dressed as the Fairy Godmother on the album's playful front cover, Dolly's latest release may be catering for the younger audience but it actually works as an album for all generations. Yes, the melodies are perhaps softer and more innocently playful that her more definitive hits, but let's all face it, who doesn't enjoy a good sing along with their kids? And who would not prefer to sing along with Dolly than with The Teletubbies, who also return with new material this year.
While the storytelling on Coats of Many Colours and the jazzy reworking of Together Forever are infectious insights for the younger listener into the material Dolly has already released in her career to date, but it is the more innocent numbers that really make I Believe In You shine.
The album's title track is utterly infectious, while we can guarantee that you will be singing I Am A Rainbow just as often as your little one. Heck, you will be singing it even if you don't have a little one! But the real jewels in this Fairy Godmother's crown are the absolutely magical Imagination and the totally joyous and socially aware A Friend Like You, which would work perfectly on Sesame Street but shine even brighter because they are sung by one of the greatest vocalists of all time.