fri 12/07/2024

Album: Dolly Parton - A Dolly Holly Christmas | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Dolly Parton - A Dolly Holly Christmas

Album: Dolly Parton - A Dolly Holly Christmas

Seriously, how much kitsch can you handle?

Think hard. How much schmaltz do you think there is in this album? OK, double that. Now double it again. Nope, you’re still nowhere close. This is the world schmaltz lake with the entire EU cheese mountain forming an island in the middle, all decorated with a Willy Wonka factory worth of sugar candy and more camp than the Boy Scouts Of America.

It’s like an entire planet done up like that weirdo down your street who lights up their entire house and garden for the whole of December every year. It’s ridiculous. It’s preposterous. It’s absolutely off its not inconsiderable tits. 

But, well, what would you expect from Dolly Parton’s 47th studio album, and first Christmas record in 30 years, released at the age of 74 having truly achieved Global Treasure status? A Holly Dolly Christmas is accompanied by, and feels like it was probably conceived as, a TV special – packed with celebrity duets, knowing winks, grandiose Christian sentiment and more kitsch than you can possibly imagine. 

The inevitable Michael Buble is here, and of course it’s on the “Baby it’s Cold Outside” style snowbound horny-fest “Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas”. There’s a similar unlikely flirtation, too, with Jimmy Fallon on a cover of Mariah’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. There’s a whole lot of down-home songs where you might start getting so delirious you imagine Muppets ice skating past the window, as on “Christmas on the Square” and the Billy Ray Cyrus duet “Christmas Where we Are”. 

And on it goes, through twangy bluegrass, massed-choir finales, Miley Cyrus, Willie Nelson and untold sleighbells and glockenspiels. Yet somehow the flirtations are camp enough to not get icky, the religion sincere enough to not be hokey, and the country twang so real that it’s just infectious. Yes it IS ridiculous, it IS preposterous, it IS low camp and high hokum – but what is Christmas without kitsch? Just like a Muppet movie, it’s both knowing in its button-pressing and warm hearted. It’s the season for tastefulness to go out of the window, so if you’re going to go for Christmas music, why be shy? This is the full-on, tinsel-explosion, roaring log fire, mulled wine drunk, sugar high experience – embrace it!


Listen to "Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas" (if you dare):



It’s ridiculous. It’s preposterous. It’s absolutely off its not inconsiderable tits


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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