March 17, 2008 12:00 PM

Backwoods Barbie |


“I’m just a backwoods Barbie/ Too much makeup, too much hair/ Don’t be fooled by thinkin’ that the goods are not all there.” So sings Dolly Parton, in typically disarming, self-deprecating fashion, on the title-track highlight of her new album. Of course, Parton long ago proved she’s much more than a country-music caricature, and her considerable talent as a singer and songwriter is on display here. She brings a plucky spirit to “Better Get to Livin'” while getting to the heartache of the matter on the ballads “Only Dreamin'” and “I Will Forever Hate Roses.” She only really stumbles with a remake of Fine Young Cannibals’ 1989 hit “She Drives Me Crazy” that is truly maddening.

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