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Slow Dancing With the Moon

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Slow Dancing With the Moon

Current Status:
In Season
Dolly Parton

We gave it a B-

At 47, after 26 years of recording, plus a hit-and-miss foray into TV and movies, Dolly Parton has lately rethought her music career. Her 1991 album, Eagle When She Flies, stands as her strongest solo effort in a decade and reinforces her reputation as a country-music icon.

Slow Dancing With the Moon, however, shows signs that like a time-honored monument, Parton needs some buttressing. Not only does she bring in Billy Ray Cyrus, Kathy Mattea, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and Tanya Tucker to float the vulgar dance-groove bilge of ”Romeo” (see video review), but Billy Dean and Collin Raye also show up for assistance on romantic ballads.

Such contemporary company should help her record sales, but they probably also overshadow the album’s most thoughtful song, the Celtic-flavored ”What Will Baby Be,” about how family tensions mold a child. A pity: It’s the only creative risk from a superstar who now seems content to play it safe. B-