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Backwoods Barbie

Surprisingly agreeable return from the High Priestess of country kitsch

Rating: 6 / 10

Ed Power, 26 Jun 2008

Released on Parton’s own record label, Backwoods Barbie handed Parton her first US top 20 hit in 15 years. You can see why it’s made such an impact– far from trading on her tiresome ‘boobs and big hair’ persona, the album sees Parton conducing a biographical trawl through her career, exploring marital infidelity (the narrator on ‘Cologne’ is asked not to wear perfume because her lover doesn’t want his wife to learn of their tryst) and ruminating on the debilitations of age (‘Better Get To Livin’). She even tosses off a bluegrass cover of Fine Young Cannibals’ ‘Drives Me Crazy’, making it sound as if was always meant to be bashed out on a banjo.

Key Track: ‘Drives Me Crazy’

Rating: 6 / 10
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