The Chicks fromer Dixie Chicks

Country Pop: Chicks without Dixie seeking revenge

By koenau | eastecho | 17 Aug 2020

The women's trio Dixie Chicks is back after 14 years with a new album - and with a new name that tells us something about the struggles of time. The new album "Gaslighter" isn't that difficult. It's just pop music about love, hate and revenge.


It's a bit as if Coca Cola were only calling itself "Cola" or Facebook was only calling itself "Book". Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer ran their band together for three decades as the Dixie Chicks - a whimsical allusion to the well-known cliché of the southern girl being a bit dull and a bit stupid and a bit rough.

The word "Dixie" has been gone for a few weeks now, unceremoniously deleted from the name of one of the most successful women's bands in rock history. "Dixie", a term derived from the name of the surveyor Jeremiah Dixon, who between 1763 and 1768 mapped the border between the later northern and southern states of the USA together with the astronomer Charles Mason, has been valid since the Black Lives Matter - but for some fans, protests are no longer a fun nickname, but an attempt to glorify the dark times of slavery.

The last to share 


A view that share the former Dixie Chicks - now just "The Chicks" - as the very last band in the world. But the brand must be canceled they think to proove it. Since the two sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer founded the Chicks to play bluegrass and country, at least initially the fellow musicians changed. But that the trio, which has been completed by singer Natalie Maines for 25 years, represents a different understanding of country music than conservative fans want to allow, became clear with the first multi-million dollar album "Fly".

The song "Goodbye Earl" angered traditionalists because it describes with relish how women take revenge on a beating husband. When Maines, who comes from Texas, also publicly apologized for the fact that then President George W. Bush also came from Texas, the milieu, which has always been value-conscious, went by storm: The Dixie Chicks were boycotted, no longer played on the radio and collections their CDs flat-rolled in public with tractors.

It didn't hurt the success. The trio, slandered as "Dixie Sluts", went through a few difficult years with their heads held high - while some fans turned away, more and more others took a liking to hits like "Not ready to make nice" and " I hope ", for which cult producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash) had designed the perfect country pop sound.

Perfect sound

In the fabulous 14 years after the last album, the chicks now also pack the next attempt at rebellion against the stuck image of southern country as a weapon of the old white man against any change in circumstances. "Gaslighter", named after a method to put the partner under psychological pressure and to manipulate them, is a work full of drama and melodious malice in which Natalie Maines in particular mercilessly settles accounts with her former husband, the actor Adrian Pascar .

As harmonious as the patented chanting sounds, which brought the three ladies from the country grill 30 million albums sold and 13 Grammy trophies, the lyrics of "Tights On My Boats" are undisguisedly brutal and tangible. He should die in his sleep, Maines wishes her ex, but only in jest, because that would be too easy: No, he should suffer as she suffered and no longer be able to breathe when he thinks of her.

Vengeance is not blood sausage here, but the basis of a kind of self-empowerment music that the trio produced together with Grammy star Jack Antonoff (Pink, Taylor Swift) as perfect radio material. With the exception of "March, March", an inexpensive play in which Maines, as a one-woman army, apparently does not campaign against the ex but against the incumbent US president, this is a single relationship box.

The vocals, the melodies, the instruments between traditional country instruments such as guitar, banjo and violin and the resilient drum sound of current pop productions place "Gaslighter" perfectly between Taylor Swift, the Indigo Girls, Avril Lavigne and Ariana Grande and turn female hurt into pop music, which invites you to pity with fear or just to whistle happily along.

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