Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dolly Parton on ‘American Idol’ tonight and Wednesday

Nokiainside - Hot News

At age 62, the Dorian Gray of mudflap girls is as ambitious in the studio as she is under the knife. Refusing to fade into graceful grandma-hood, Dolly Parton is hellbent on returning to the top of the charts with “Backwoods Barbie,” an album calibrated to capitalize on the country-pop crossover.

Her girlish vibralto intact, Parton storms through a dozen songs, proving that where it counts, she’s still got it. When Carrie Underwood let Jesus take the wheel of her career, it was the smartest thing she (and her producers and handlers) could’ve done. The lesson’s not lost on Parton, whose Pentecostal upbringing pays dividends on the album’s second single, “Jesus and Gravity.”

The first single, “Better Get To Livin’,” a sappy inspirational song that melds every self-help cliché, fared poorly. Much better is Parton’s unlikely but appealing cover of Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy.” The bulk of the song, arranged as a fiddle-heavy pop song, hews close to the original until the finale, when it crescendos in a rollicking hoedown. It might blow your mind, but the real charmer is the album’s title track. It’s vintage Dolly: playing up her impoverished roots, making fun of her over-the-top-persona and charming a skeptical audience that may not know or care about her classic hits.

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.
Don’t let these false eyelashes lead you to believe
That I’m as shallow as I look, ’cause I run true and deep.

Say what you will about her faith in plastic surgery. There may be no less forgiving measure of aging than the pop charts, and Parton knows it. Tonight, her campaign to win the hearts and minds of American consumers goes into overdrive with a two-night stint on “American Idol.” (Rumors abound that Carly Smithson will sing “Jolene” and Jason Castro will take on “I Will Always Love You.”) Forget the 9 to 5 office set, Parton’s got her sight on her key demographic — the tween girl set, who should relate perfectly to her empowerment through loud and proud femininity.

Elina Shatkin

Photo by FOX

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker

Add to Technorati Favorites