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Country - Released July 17, 2020 | Columbia

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Natalie Maines has had it up to here and isn't going to take it anymore. "You're only as sick as your secrets, so I'm telling everything," she sings on "Sleep at Night" from Gaslighter, her fifth album with The Chicks. (The band dropped "Dixie" in the midst of 2020's global protests over racial injustices.) Coming on the heels of what was apparently a very ugly split from actor Adrian Pasdar, the album is laden with eviscerating, nakedly honest lyrics. Maines has said the band was considering releasing a covers record, just to fulfill their contract with Sony, but that her divorce "sparked me being ready [to make new music]." The story kicks off with the album's title track, an absolute delight—bright as the Southern California noontime sun—that paints her ex as a lie-lie-lie-liar. (The narrative only gets worse from there.) From the start, producer Jack Antonoff's fingerprints are all over the songs, mostly for good. "Sleep At Night" ("My husband's girlfriend's husband just called me/ how messed up is that?") is loaded with his signature Disney-like melodies, punchy percussion and Beach Boys ohhhhhs. In other words, it sounds like a song from his band fun., in the best way. So does the super-catchy "Texas Man"—all bounce and joy with staccato percussion and appealingly weird guitar flexes. Throughout, the Chicks sound as young and fresh as anything on pop radio: The spare piano ballad "Everybody Loves You" could've been recorded by Demi Lovato or Halsey, while the simple, reggae-kissed "Tights on My Boat" with its acoustic guitar and hints of violin is Ed Sheeran-esque. It also addresses the much-speculated-about innuendo from "Gaslighter," on which Maines sings, "Boy, you know exactly what you did on my boat/ and boy, that's exactly why you ain't coming home" Here, she lobs the line: "You can tell the girl who left her tights on my boat that she can have you now." Is it a country record? Not particularly, and some fans might be irked that the band's beloved harmonies are not as prominent as usual. (This is very much Natalie's show, vocally and lyrically.) But the Chicks have always been comfortable as outsiders, and it's hard to imagine another "country" band making a song as edgy as "March March," which urgently references reproductive legislation, climate change and gun control. By the last three songs of the record, all ballads, Maines can see her way out of the tunnel. As strings tumble like creek water on "Young Man," she reaches for her highest, purest register to seemingly encourage her son to "take the best parts" of his father and "leave the bad news behind"—"my blues aren't your blues." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Country - Released October 26, 2010 | Columbia - Legacy

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Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Open Wide - Monument - Columbia

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Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Monument

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The crossover hit that launched a million girl-power imitators, Wide Open Spaces puts a fresh, optimist polish on its deep country roots. Opener "Can Love You Better," which struts with dobro twang, and "There’s Your Trouble" owe to the sass of The Judds and Shania Twain but Dixie Chicks' lead vocalist Natalie Maines immediately stands out as one of the most confident voices of her generation. Matched with the backing vocals and strings-playing of sisters Martie and Emily Erwin, it's lightning in a bottle. Even before the first verse, the title single evokes wide, open spaces via banjo and fiddle and by the time it hits the staggering harmonies of the chorus, the song absolutely soars. Ballad "Loving Arms" (first made famous by Kris Kristofferson) haunts with steel guitar and an angel's chorus. Drinking song "Tonight the Heartache's on Me" is whiskey woozy, and "Let 'Er Rip" unspools a boogie-woogie straight out of Bakersfield. The album wraps up with a barnburner cover of Bonnie Raitt's "Give It Up or Let Me Go."  It’s all loose in attitude but as technically tight as they come, proving these Chicks are their own women. © Qobuz
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Country - Released March 4, 2020 | Columbia

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Fly

Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Monument

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Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Open Wide - Columbia

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Country - Released January 12, 2018 | Columbia

The Chicks staged a reunion tour in 2016, beginning the trek in April of that year and wrapping up nearly a year later in Canada. Released in August 2017, DCX MMXVI is a CD/DVD set commemorating the trio's last stop on the U.S. leg, capturing the full show they gave on October 10, 2016. It's a crisp, assured performance that finds the Chicks hitting all of their major songs and threading in numerous covers, including a telling version of Beyoncé's "Daddy Lessons." If the performance is occasionally so polished it gleams, it also benefits from the trio's professionalism -- not just in their abundant chops but how they can pull off an entertaining show. Perhaps that doesn't make for a major record, but it's enough for fans who have been waiting a long time for a new Chickss record of any sort. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released May 1, 2020 | Columbia

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Country - Released June 25, 2020 | Columbia

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Country - Released July 26, 2002 | Open Wide - Monument - Columbia

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Delivering a successor to their breakthrough smash Wide Open Spaces was easy -- Fly followed a year afterward, sounding sleek and satisfying. Following that album turned out to be a little more difficult for the Chicks, not least because they were involved in an ugly battle with their record company over royalties. While they were away, country radio grew stricter, but there were undercurrents of change, particularly in the grassroots success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. The Chicks always had deep country roots, but it was entirely conceivable that they could have chosen the pop route, since it's always the safest bet for established stars to follow the mainstream -- especially after they have been away for a while. Fortunately, one thing this trio has never been is predictable, and they were emboldened by their successful battle with the label, along with the O Brother, leading to the stunner that is Home, their sixth album. There may be a Stevie Nicks cover here, but there are no concessions to pop anywhere; there are hardly any electric guitars, actually. This is a pure country album, loaded with fiddles, acoustic guitars, and close harmonies, but retaining the Chicks' signature flair, sense of humor, and personality. It's a vibrant, quirky, heartfelt record that finds the group investing as much in a funny, rollicking number like "White Trash Wedding" or something as sadly sweet as "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)." But the key to the album is that, as they so brilliantly put it on the wonderful opener, "Long Time Gone," they recognize many modern country singers "sound tired but they don't sound Haggard" and "have money but they don't have Cash" -- and this is a sentiment that doesn't just apply to those riding the charts, but to the po-faced alt-country contenders who are too serious to have fun. They deftly balance modern attitudes with classic instrumentation, all built on terrific songwriting, winding up with an album that feels purer than anything on the charts, yet much livelier and genuine than alt-country. This is what country music in 2002 should sound like. With Home, the Chicks illustrate that country music should be simple but adventurous, sincere but fun. In doing so, they've delivered not just their best album, but what's arguably the best country album yet released in the 2000s. Needless to say, an instant classic. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 15, 1998 | Monument

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The crossover hit that launched a million girl-power imitators, Wide Open Spacesputs a fresh, polish optimist on its deep country roots. Opener "Can Love You Better," which struts with dobro twang, and "There's Your Trouble" singer of the Judges and Shania Twain but Dixie Chicks' voice vocalist Natalie Maines immediately stands out as one of the most confident voices of her generation. Martie and Emily Erwin, it's a lightning in a bottle.  Even before the first verse, the title single evokes wide, open spaces via banjo and fiddle and by the time it hits the staggering harmonies of the chorus, the song absolutely soars. Ballad "Loving Arms" (first made famous by Kris Kristofferson) with guitar and an angel's chorus. Drinking song "Tonight the Heartache's on Me" is whiskey woozy, and "Let's Er Rip" unspools a boogie-woogie straight out of Bakersfield. The album wraps up with a barnburner cover of Bonnie Raitt's "Give It Up or Let Me Go." It's all loose in attitude but as technically tight as they come, these chicks are their own women. © Qobuz
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Fly

Country - Released August 27, 1999 | Monument

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Country - Released May 28, 2010 | Columbia - Legacy

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Country - Released April 7, 2006 | Open Wide - Columbia

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Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Monument

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Fly

Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Monument

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Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Columbia - Legacy

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Country - Released April 15, 2016 | Open Wide - Columbia

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Rock - Released August 14, 2009 | KOPF Records