Review: Dolly Parton Is Tasteful, Often Ageless on 'Pure & Simple'

Our take on the country legend's 43rd album

'Pure & Simple' is Dolly Parton's 43rd album. Credit: Fran Strine

Generally tasteful and acoustic, Dolly Parton's 43rd studio album is most effective at its most effortless, as when she breezes with contented charm through the title track's celebration of uncomplicated love. But the legend stumbles when she tries too hard to be cute on "I'm Sixteen," a song about how love keeps you forever young. She defies age more convincingly when she revisits two songs she first recorded in the Seventies – it's like she's daring you to play the new "Say Forever You'll Be Mine" or “Tomorrow Is Forever” alongside her original Porter Waggoner duets so you can marvel at just how little time has frayed her 70-year-old voice.