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
[sic]
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.