No I Ain’t Honked a Horn Since I Don’t Know When

August 19, 2010

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Dixie Chicks

            The Dixie Chicks’ sixth studio album was the album that most successfully placed them between pop & country:  pretty sentimentality mixed with bluegrass.  The opening, “Long Time Gone,” spells it out—the Dixie Chicks were out to shake things up by actually going back to good ol’ country the way Mr. Haggard intended.

            They tackle Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” and make the song, which was already pretty steeped in the West, even more so by adding banjo and fiddle.  “Truth No. 2,” and “Home” are melodramatic yet Natalie Maines’ voice makes you forget about the Lifetime TV-ish lyrics.  Some others such as “I Believe in Love,” can’t be saved—for 3 “Chicks” who boast a feisty attitude, Home is a pretty girly album;  “White Trash Wedding,” makes up for this somewhat. 

            In a way, it would be hard to imagine where the Dixie Chicks could have gone from this album.  With a little help from Natalie’s liberal mentality and the insanity that ensued, they made the intense Taking the Long Way produced by Rick Rubin.  The ladies say they are done with country.  I hope they haven’t painted themselves in a corner because their options look limited.  Either make a country comeback (which sounds quite difficult judging by the death threats, destruction, and name-calling that caused the rift) or be the next MOR, adult contemporary, folk-country act a la Mary Chapin Carpenter and Lyle Lovett.  That prospect is about as depressing as a bluegrass tune.

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