We gave it a B
Parton’s albums of late have been as spotty as a dalmation in a polka-dot collar, as her musical interests have been diffused by theme parks, movie contracts, and figure- enhancing garments. With Eagle When She Flies she is finally free of the flaunted sexuality and tacky production that marred her past few releases. ”Eagle When She Flies” is as fresh as the towels in the boxes of Breeze detergent Parton used to hawk on TV. But let’s get the bad news over first: Yes, there is one of those atrocities that appears on each of her records. The one here, titled ”Dreams Do Come True,” seems to be a musical version of a far too breathless romance: ”Like the morning sun,” Parton offers in a gooey whisper, ”his love moved across every inch of my body.” Elsewhere, Parton is exquisite in her performance as the devastated lover (”What a Heartache,” ”Wildest Dreams”) and in the autobiographical ”Family,” a hard look at the trust, love, and understanding that goes into putting up with kinfolk. Seems there’s a new spark in the old Dolly yet.