.After relistening to all my favourites from the 70`s and 80`s,my son introduced me to modern country music.I have always enjoyed some country and western but have never considered myself a big enough fan to actually acquire my own collection until that fateful day when I listened to LeAnn Rimes for the first time.
Shortly after that a friend told me to listen to "Dixie Chicks".
Wow! I was hooked immediately! Within minutes of the start of "Fly",their second album I knew that I would love the rest of their stuff and boy is it good!!!!
I love music that I can "sing a long" with whilst driving (not the singalongaMax material I hasten to add) It`s a red letter day whenever I discover a new artist that I can transcribe to cassette for my car and the day I started listening to "Fly" was not just red letter,it was red carpet day!
If you don`t know the group "Dixie Chicks",it`s three girl trio fromTexas formed in 1996 who have managed to produce a sound that is very distinctive.The lyrics of some of the tracks have also managed to attract a lot of attention from the media.
As has been stated in the press - "There`s old country - There`s new country - And then there`s the Dixie Chicks !"
The girls are Natalie Maines - the power behind the vocals, Martie Seibel - who excels on fiddle and mandolin and Emily Robinson - a wizard on the dobro and banjo.(I will pause here while you find out what a dobro is if you don`t know).They can all play the guitar and together produce flawlessly clear harmonies.
Their first album " Wide Open Spaces " had sold 6 million by the time that "Fly " was released and had established them as trend-setters in country, attracting very diverse audiences,many new fans from outside country ranks.
They have been given so many awards that I wouldn`t want to bore you with a list ,suffice it to say the list is very long (grammies.CMA etc)
After the enormous success of their first album they could have played it safe with "Fly" but NO.They have given us an album that reflects their development on every level,sounding so much better together and showing them to be much better writers with a lot more confidence in their growing abilities.
What other group would start off an album with an Irish Jig before launching into the brilliant "Ready to Run"
One of the tracks that is considered quite controversial is "Goodbye Earl".This has quickly become my favourite on the album.It`s a fast paced song that has a dark side when you consider that it`s about the bumping off of an abusive husband!It`s very funny and you can certainly empathise with Wanda,the wife who commits the dirty deed!
There are so many good tracks,some upbeat,some slower paced ballards that you are bound to find to your liking.Each is special in it`s own way.
What do you want ? Catchy lyrics,acoustic originality,powerful delivery or strong instrumentals?Look no further, it`s all here!
The musical content has a distinctive "cajun" feel to it at times and I`m also reminded of celtic fiddle playing as well in a few of the tracks.I`m also astounded by the vocal abilities of Natalie,she can produce such a wide range of styles.
This is no "Stand by your Man" album.The lyrics express a lot about female independence in a modern age,drawing a lot on the personal experiences of the three girls.It would have been radically different if they had been married with kids.It is for both women AND men however.Women can identify with it and men can begin to realise how the modern young female of today feels.Lyrics like "He`s lived his life - now I`m gonna live mine" and "All I wanna do is have some fun -What`s all this talk about love?"
This album may not be everyones idea of "country" but, I for one am a convert to "country pop" if this is representative of the genre.
Buy it.Listen to it.Enjoy it.
I don`t think you`ll be disappointed.
Oh! Why "Fly" ? The "Chicks" say that they have now earned their wings and can fly away from the nest and truly be independent.