Dixie Chicks - Fly
After the roaring success of Wide Open Spaces -- a blend of turn-of-the-century pop and country traditionalism--what do you do for an encore? Rather than deliver more of the same, the Chicks have chosen instead to up the ante in country radio with a follow-up that's both poppier and twangier than its predecessor, and just plain better too. Some of it we've heard before: "Hello Mr. Heartache," for example, adheres pretty closely to the honky-tonk model of "Tonight the Heartache's On Me." Mostly, though, the record lights out for new territories. "Without You" is driven by an in-your-face string arrangement that's downright fierce, and the rootsy "Sin Wagon" may rock harder--and with more solos -- than any mainstream country since Buck Owens held forth. That's not to say Fly's perfect. A couple of songs miss the mark, particularly "Goodbye Earl," an abusive-husband murder song that's sure to get criticized (wrongly) for being anti-male but actually fails because it can't decide if it's a moral lesson, a horror movie, or a joke. Still, even in this failure, the Chicks are bravely pushing the envelope. If they push hard enough, maybe Young Country radio will open up some wider spaces.
Pressed on 180 Gram double black vinyl.