Sony Nashville Records, 1999
REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/14/2000
I can assure you that after this review, I will go into my room and just play AC/DC and Metallica non-stop for the next twenty-four hours. In my quest to find new music, I have gone and reviewed my brother's favorite stuff. How was I to know that he was into estrogen-heavy music?? Phew, the things I do for this web site. (Be professional. Focus, dammit, focus!)
Standing alongside Faith Hill and Shania Twain are the Dixie Chicks. This young trio of Southern belles came out of somewhere to snatch the Grammy for best country album from the likes of Garth Brooks and Twain. Tough feat for first timers. So you know that everyone in Nashville was taking close measure of how the Chicks would do for their second-go around. Would they strike gold (and platinum) again or go the way of many bands and artists (into a sophomore slump)?
Don't fret. Unlike the other female artists with which the Chicks are lumped, these gals are country through and through. While there are some pop influences, you cannot compare this album to Twain's latest - which is more of an in-between of country and pop. Still, this is country that is aimed for at the chicks (pun intended). It starts with the single, "Ready To Run," which you can also find in the Runaway Bride soundtrack. Like the song says, "all they're ready to do is have some fun."
In fact, that fun attitude permeates most of the album. "Sin Wagon" speaks of girls attempting to jump someone's bones. It actually reminded me of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" for its use of the violin. It's quite amusing. You also get "Some Days You Gotta Dance" and "Hole In My Head." The first one reminds me a bit too much of Twain, but "Hole" is better -- actually mixing a bit of rock into the Chicks' country. Then there's the somewhat-controversial "Goodbye Earl." Dealing with murder, the song actually makes fun of women getting even with an abusive husband. However, while Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls" was controversial, this one, I think, will slide by -- it's much funnier than "The Thunder Rolls."
Offsetting all that good time, the Chicks delve into some softer and tender moments and these are the ones that make this album worthwhile. "Cowboy Take Me Away" is very countrish and quite good. The album closer, "Let Him Fly," is a good track and a soft and decent way to end an album. "Don't Waste Your Heart" is softer and also good. Amazingly, these two tracks seem to be polar opposites. One deals finding love while the other is about letting it go.
Still, there are some tracks which, in my estimation, are only average. "If I Fall You're Going Down With Me" is more radio-ready, but not as interesting. "Cold Day In July" is interesting, but telegraphs its moves a mile away. On that group, you can lump "Hello Mr. Heartache," "Without You" and "Heartbreak Town." They are not bad songs, but they're not that great. They're stuff we've already seen before.
In the end, the Dixie Chicks' new album is tailored-made for its audience. If you like the other big guns in country, you will enjoy Fly. However, don't look for originality in here. Be content with a good time and you will like it even more. Now, to my testosterone treatment!