Top critical review
Parton's most contemporary country record in years
on 21 February 2008
Here, the seemingly unstoppable Dolly Parton has given the record buying public her most contemporary sounding country album in years. Indeed, even I, who is a very hit-and-miss fan of Ms. Parton's music, can find a lot of really good stuff here on 'Backwoods Barbie'.
The opening track and single 'Better Get To Livin' is very catchy with a nice, positive message, and her covers of Smokey Robinson's classic 'The Tracks of My Tears', and Five Young Cannibals late '80s hit 'She Drives Me Crazy' are worthy of repeated listens. The gem of the lot is 'Jesus & Gravity', a truly great song, sung with much conviction from a woman whose childlike vocals do irritate me after a while, though I think her voice has matured rather nicely. The title track is a traditional sounding country song, which is all to clearly a self-parody.
In recent years, Dolly has won critical acclaim for a series of bluegrass albums, which have sold well in the UK, but now she's back with a more contemporary sound which could really bring her back to the mainstream of things. If you're an avid fan, you'll treasure this new release. If you're not so focused on her, then 'Backwoods Barbie' might still charm you.
PS: Now, I know she's had loads of plastic surgery, and the front cover picture has been airbrushed to perfection, but whoa, doesn't she look good in it?