It’s been 30-some years since Donny & Marie Osmond recorded an album of new material, so it’s only appropriate that Donny & Marie’s eponymous 2011 album sound a bit like it could have come out during the pre-MTV early ‘80s, its opening “A Beautiful Life” boasting a chorus that would feel right at home on a TV sitcom. Donny & Marie maintains that blissfully unaware time warp throughout its long running time. Some traces of the modern world creep in, whether it’s a line about a guy who works at WalMart or a pummeling Gavin DeGraw hook, but producer Buddy Cannon is keenly aware that neither Donny & Marie nor their audience care much for anything contemporary that isn’t modified by the word “adult,” so that’s what he helps them serve up: sunniness so sweet that every track sticks together. There’s no separating the smiling ballads and the cheerful pop songs, partially because the whole album is so lengthy it quickly loses any sense of momentum. Then again, Donny & Marie isn’t an album with a purpose other than offering hardcore fans a bunch of new recordings by the Osmond siblings -- and that’s precisely what it delivers song after song, all of them new but feeling old, cozy, and comfortable.
Donny & Marie Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine