The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Review | Dolly Parton makes rock debut with new album ‘Rockstar’

Photo courtesy of IMDb
Album cover of “Rockstar” by Dolly Parton released on November 17.

Dolly Parton released her 49th studio album and rock debut “Rockstar” on Nov. 17.

The album has 30 songs, including nine original tracks and 21 covers of popular rock songs. For many of the covers, Parton is accompanied by the songʼs original artists. 

Parton announced the album in an Instagram post containing a years-old audio of Parton expressing her want to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again — if I am ever worthy,” Parton said.

The “Jolene” singer adds a revamped feel to over 20 fan-favorite rock songs. Parton has a unique and distinct voice that only builds on the vocals of singers, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steven Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Miley Cyrus and many others. 

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The “Rockstar” tracklist included covers of “Every Breath You Take” featuring Sting, “Purple Rain,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” featuring Elton John and “Baby, I Love Your Way” featuring Peter Frampton. 

The tracklist also included nine brand new rock songs. The first two songs on the album are titled “Rockstar” and “World on Fire,” which are both originals from the singer. 

Before the release of the album, Parton released several of the songs as singles.

Her fans received the singles and overall album extremely well, with almost nothing but positive comments on all of her Instagram posts for the album. 

With 30 songs on the album, she released enough music to give listeners a great preview of the tracklist and get people excited for the big release. 

The album also features a mashup of “We WIll Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” by rock band Queen, who Parton released a music video for earlier this year.

While the amazing covers and star-studded features are definitely the highlight of the album, Parton’s own additions to the rock genre hold their own. 

The first song on the album — also titled “Rockstar” — is the perfect headliner for the new release. The lyrics are all about working towards the dream of being in rock and roll and becoming a rockstar. 

I stand before my mirror, play and sing and dream, someday/ Iʼll be standing in the lights, selling shows out every night/ Have ʼem dancing in the aisles, Iʼll be famous/ Iʼll be a rockstar,” Parton sings.

The new album is a perfect addition to Parton’s repertoire. The edgy genre of music paired with Parton’s notoriously raspy voice and diamond-studded persona she has built for herself makes for a perfect rock and roll storm.

The voiceover featured in Parton’s Instagram post references the time when she was nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022 but declined, saying that she was a country artist and hadn’t earned it yet. 

Parton then declared that she would be inducted into the hall, but she was going to write a rock album that was worthy of it. 

Listeners are going to be on the edge of their seats waiting to see if “Rockstar” is the album that earns that Hall of Fame spot. 


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