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Dolly Parton

Jolene – 1999 (Buddha)

Reviewed by Jon Weisberger

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CDs by Dolly Parton

With "Jolene," (1974), Dolly Parton stepped out completely on her own and began her journey toward pop success. The songs and production were all over the map, frequently falling into some ill-defined area that was neither country nor pop, yet always given a unique, instantly identifiable sound by Parton's voice. Listeners repelled by the overblown '90's pop treatments of her anthemic "I Will Always Love You" will doubtless be happily surprised by the tender, restrained original version, a number one hit for the singer. Other highlights include "When Someone Wants To Leave" and the lilting "Early Morning Breeze."