Dolly Parton

I Believe

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A budget-priced, resequenced version of Dolly Parton's 1970 gospel album Golden Streets of Glory, I Believe is good for old-school fans who want to replace their vinyl, but Parton's other admirers might also find this album a compelling listen. Born and raised in a deeply religious family and continuing her faith throughout her life, Parton is deeply, spiritually attached to this form of music. She wrote seven of the ten songs either by herself or with family members. Crucially, the album is given, by the standards of Nashville in 1970, relatively simple and unadorned arrangements that allow Parton's bracing soprano full emotional rein. The title track consists almost entirely of acoustic guitar and stand-up bass, with subtle and tasteful strings that sweeten but don't overpower Parton's vocals, and on a choral version of the gospel standard "How Great Thou Art," the usual Nashville mawkish over-sweetening of the choir is held admirably in check.

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