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Dolly Parton

Treasures – 1996 (Rising Tide)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Dolly Parton

It's hard not towant to like this album. Dolly's now in the same boat as most of the other performers of her generation inasmuch as radio tends to shy away from her new releases at this point.

Dolly sounds great, she looks like a million bucks, and she obviously put some effort into her new release. So why isn't this a terribly exciting album?

"Treasures" is a collection of Dolly's renditions of some of her favorite songs written by other artists; some from the pop world (Cat Stevens' now-ironic "Peace Train," Katrina and the Waves' "Walking On Sunshine," etc.) and several country classics like Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" (a duet with Blues Traveler's John Popper) and Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times." The mixture of pop and country isn't really the problem - Dolly's been straddling the fence between the two genres for the majority of her long career. The fault has to lie at the feet of producer Steve Buckingham at the end of the day. It's almost like all of the heart, passion, and love that Parton has for these songs was sucked into a black hole. Parton and her guests (Popper, Alison Krauss, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, The Mavericks' Raul Malo) sound like they're having a good time, but the studio musicians could have phoned their parts in.

To be kind, she's done better work in the past. And she's more than capable of better work in the future. Stay tuned.