Picks and Pans Review: 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs
She’s a movie star now, but Dolly hasn’t forsaken her musical roots. This loose concept album about earning one’s daily bread is more than satisfying in pace, dynamics, tone and choice of material. There are three new Parton songs, including the slick title tune from her film 9 to 5 and a wonderfully upbeat lullaby, Hush-a-Bye Hard Times. Dolly also successfully updates the traditional House of the Rising Sun; the Woody Guthrie-Martin Hoffman lament for immigrant farm workers, Deportee; and Merle Travis’ mining anthem, Dark as a Dungeon. There is some over-arranging; it’s still nice to hear Parton sing in front of only a guitar without all the strings and synthesizers. That’s a negligible complaint, though, about an album that will have music lovers clocking overtime.