ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: While Jessica Simpson’s country crossover album leaked today, the titular duet with Dolly Parton is the only track that most people will actually care about because–let’s face it–the only thing Jessica Simpson should be “crossing over” into at this point is permanent retirement. So! On first listen “Do You Know” sounds like a slightly less forgettable, more twang-filled Jessica Simpson track. And then you notice Dolly Parton and you think, “Oh, that’s nice. Dolly’s always a dynamic addition to any song.” And then you notice the lyrics.
Apparently, due to a mix-up at some recording studio in Nashville, Kenny Rogers’ half of a duet with Dolly was sung by Jessica Simpson and mixed into the final track, and whoever made this error was apparently too lazy to rectify the situation. The end result: A tender lady-on-lady love duet tacked on to Simpson’s country cash-in.
Jessica: “Lying here beside you in the dark/I feel the steady Rhythm of your heart/Feel your face against my shoulder/Breath upon my skin/Embers barely smoldered/I make love to you again”
Jessica and Dolly: “Nothing in this world compares to this/The way our bodies fit/The way we kiss”
Jessica and Dolly: “Do you know how beautiful you are here in the afterglow?”
I truly love Dolly, but the last thing I want to think about is her afterglow. And I only barely tolerate Jessica Simpson, so that line essentially ruins the whole song for me, although it’s nearly redeemed in the following verse:
Jessica and Dolly: “Do you know how much it means to me / The way you make me feel / Like I could soar the heavens / Gathering shooting stars / Place them in a bouquet / In a rainbow-studded jar.”
And then we have the song’s last minute and a half. At the 3:30 mark–where all reasonable songs end with dignity–”Do You Know” devolves into a seemingly endless vocal circus. Parton and Simpson spend over a minute wailing “Doooo yoooouuuu knoooowwww?” at each other, and by the five-minute mark you do know… that you never want to hear this song again if it means having to sit through the entire outro.