Dolly Parton, "Dolly"

88 Billboard Rating

Dolly Parton has spent her career veering between mountain music tradition and Nash-Vegas glitter-what else would you expect from an artist who built an amusement park near her Appalachian hometown? Her first career-spanning boxed set, "Dolly," captures the highlights of Parton's improbable American journey, with a focus on her early recordings with Porter Wagoner and solo '70s hits like "Coat of Many Colors" and "Jolene." This four-disc set follows Parton through the '80s, when she strayed from her strengths on crossover hits like "9 to 5" and "Islands in the Stream," then returned to her roots on the Ricky Skaggs-produced "White Limozeen." Unfortunately, the set's last songs are from the early '90s. Since then, Parton has gone full circle yet again, recording three critically acclaimed bluegrass albums for Sugar Hill, then abandoning that aesthetic on the appropriately named "Backwoods Barbie." Perhaps that's a story for another set, however, and newcomers and fans alike will find this one remarkably satisfying.-Robert Levine

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