DIARY - 25 SEPTEMBER 2006 - DIXIE CHICKS CD REVIEW
TAKING THE LONG WAY (OPEN WIDE-SONY-BMG)
singer Natalie Maines nails bucolic bigots to a crass cross in her self
deprecatory Lubbock Or Leave It on the trio's belated seventh disc.
Maines parodies the buckle of the West Texas Bible belt akin to Shel Silverstein's
Rough On The Living in her parable about locals' posthumous passion
for Buddy Holly after contempt in his short life.
The Lubbockian daubs her dust bowl font with "more churches than
trees" on a "crucifix skyline" as she likens herself to
the long deceased legend.
"I hear they hate me now/just like they hated you/maybe when I'm
dead and gone/I'm gonna get a statue too."
Maines self-immolation, driven by co-writer Emily Robison's banjo and
Mike Campbell's guitar, is a sibling of vitriolic single Not Ready
To Make Nice and equally defiant entrée The Long Way Around.
The latter could be a splinter from Malvina Reynolds' historic Little
"My friends from high school/married their high school boyfriends/moved
into houses in the same ZIP code where their parents live/but I could
Ironically the trio topped charts with Bruce Robison's evocative Travellin
Soldier in 2003 before Maines planted seeds in London for the Bush
backlash on radio and beyond.
Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Kristofferson had long been dumped from
ageist radio when they cut far more vitriolic anti-war songs.
little in the unlucky radio country where this Rick Rubin produced
14-track tome is banned for genre not content.
Despite that they hit #2 on debut on ARIA charts by flying into surrogate
radio - commercial, Pay, ABC and community TV - with a video for the
Equally accessible is angst charged Easy Silence, celebrity
perils in Everybody Knows, infertility borne So Hard
and optimistic gospel finale I Hope.
The trio tackle diverse shades of love in joyous Baby, Hold On,
Motown flavoured I Like It, nostalgia drenched Favourite
Year and obligatory family eulogy Lullaby.
Inside My Head finds a married mother recalling giving up child in
her wild youth - Silent House, penned with Neil Finn, examines
an empty house abandoned by an Alzheimer's victim.
Although Rubin reduced country instrumentation of organic producer Lloyd
Maines he hasn't reduced the trio's harmonies to pop pap or grunge offal.
Hopefully, Dennis Franz of Goodbye Earl and peers will be reprised for
videos for Lubbock And Leave It and industry parody Bitter End.
"We all rode the wave of that crazy parade/oh where'd you go, what
happened to the ones we knew/as long as I'm the shiniest star, oh there
A jubilant return.
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