Rainbow was released in 1987 during the interim between the critically acclaimed Trio and the soon-to-be-hit-record White Limozeen, but it nonetheless captures Dolly Parton in the midst of uninspired mediocrity. The record was promoted relentlessly (especially on Dolly's ABC television variety hour -- surprise, surprise), but vanished not long after its release. While not exactly bad, Rainbow is standard mid-'80s Dolly Parton in the sense that it's chock-full of manufactured contemporary pop that, even with a few clever lyrics and catchy hooks, ultimately goes nowhere. The album's leading singles, "The River Unbroken" and "Could I Have Your Autograph," are somewhat intriguing, but they're certainly not strong enough to survive the glossy, overtly polished production. Even Parton sounds somewhat distanced by the music, as her vocals seem lost and bored, almost like this record was made (and probably was, come to think of it) on a punch-in/punch-out routine schedule. Thus, Rainbow stands as just one more Dolly Parton pop record that may show signs of promise, but ends up being another forgettable misstep in her career.
AllMusic Review by Barry Weber
feat: Smokey Robinson