Deborah Allen

Delta Dreamland

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Delta Dreamland marked the reemergence of Deborah Allen after a late-'80s flirtation with electronic instrumentation that had alienated her country audience. Co-written by a newly dolled-up Allen and her husband, Rafe VanHoy, Dreamland continued to mine Patsy Cline-style clodhoppers ("Emotional Moon"), but incorporated heavy doses of production and a blues-rock backbeat to make much of the album resemble Melissa Etheridge in a pair of high-heeled cowboy boots. Single "Rock Me (In the Cradle of Love)" was drenched in reverb and bluesy sexuality, and came complete with a dance remix, while "Chain Lightning" and "All the Loving and the Hurting Too" looked to the processed emotion of lite FM pop for inspiration. The mixture of synthesized sexiness and straightforward country croon didn't work 100 percent of the time, but the climate in 1993 might have been more hospitable to it than Allen had encountered a few years earlier, since the album saw some success.

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