March 11, 2006

Music Review: Dolly Parton's "Those Were the Days" (2005)

This iconic country music star makes the bold move of releasing an album of classic hippie protest songs during a war, which, in general, country music stars aren’t supposed to do. They are, in general, supposed to take the views of Toby Keith, who sings:

"Now this nation that I love
Has fallen under attack
A mighty sucker punch came flying in
From somewhere in the back
Soon as we could see clearly
Through our big black eye
Man, we lit up your world
Like the 4th of July
-Toby Keith, Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue

She insists that it is a peace album not a "protest" album, & indeed, most of the songs she sings are both over-played & ambiguous, so as not to make any obvious statement. The pervading theme of the album is nostalgia. Here is the Track List:

1. Those Were The Days
2. Blowin’ In The Wind
3. Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
4. Twelfth Of Never
5. Where Do the Children Play?
6. Me & Bobby McGee
7. Crimson & Clover
8. The Cruel War
9. Turn, Turn, Turn
10. If I Were A Carpenter
11. Both Sides Now
12. Imagine

The most surreal aspect is her pervading smilingness, gleefully belting songs like Blowin’ in the Wind & Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, songs which don’t make sense unless sung sad.

Overall, tho, from this reviewer’s impecable tastes, the album is perfect & masterfully rendered. Well worth the three year wait. & in honor of her releasing it on my 24th Birthday - October 11th, 2005 - I will take this opportunity to announce the release of my cover album, doing all of these songs in the same order, since I not-so-coincidentally play almost all of them anyway, to be released on my 25th Birthday, staring Sam Amidon on Appalacian dulcimer, Danny Holt on Yamaha Carilon, & Musaf Islam on hippie drums.

1 comment:

jenny said...

Wow, that album cover is amazing. I hope you invite her to the release party--maybe she'll sing "Bobby McGee" with you in your parents' living room.