Sony Music (label)
30 November 2018 (released)
16 December 2018
Dolly Parton’s soundtrack for Dumplin dropped November 30, while the movie premiered in theaters and on Netflix December 7.
The soundtrack features the talented voices of Sia, Mavis Staples, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Willa Amai, Rhonda Vincent, Alison Krauss, Macy Gray, and DOROTHY, along with cameos by Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston.
Two of the songs made immediate impacts: “Girl In The Movies” was nominated for Best Original Song by Hollywood Music In Media Awards, while “Here I Am,” featuring Sia, rocketed to the number one spot on iTunes’ Country and Top 10 all-genre charts.
The movie revolves around the teenage daughter, Dumplin’, of a former beauty queen (Aniston). Dumplin (Macdonald) signs up for her mother’s beauty pageant, but not as a formal contestant. Instead, she’s protesting the pageant. When other contestants join her protest, all hell breaks loose.
Highlights on the soundtrack include “Here I Am,” a pop-flavored country tune full of gospel-like vocal harmonies and Parton’s inimitable voice. A light shimmering guitar provides crisp accents, as Parton and Sia strut their magnetic tones.
“Girl In The Movies” rides a soft acoustic guitar backed by flowing strings exuding tender, gossamer country textures. Parton’s marvelous voice infuses the tune with vibrant elegance floating on the smooth cashmere stream of the harmonics. This is a gorgeous song, full of nostalgia, desire, and glossy resolve.
Definitely one of the best tracks on the soundtrack is “Red Shoes,” which starts off soft and creamy, and then surges to undulating country ambience. Jangly guitars flicker, as a steel guitar drawls out melancholic colors. Parton’s high tones soar above the music, whirling and mounting to the heavens on scrumptious savors.
The remake of Parton’s mega-hit “Here You Come Again” provides a fresh interpretation of the tune. Amai’s dulcet voice opens the song, followed by Parton’s evocative timbres. The tempo is slower and easier than the original version, but still remains infectiously good. “Push and Pull” rides twangy country flavors and a light propelling groove. Silky vocal harmonies immerse the chorus in radiant suffusions, as the harmonics crest and sparkle.
A string re-mix of “Jolene,” glowing with pale energy, comes across as a bit random, probably because it lacks the driving impetus of the original version.
On Dumplin, Dolly Parton demonstrates why she’s one of the all-time greats of country music: her distinctive voice, and her talent for composing alluring music.