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Dixie Chicks - Taking The Long Way - Columbia

Call it the musical surprise of 2006 thus far: the Dixie Chicks emerge from a couple of years of turmoil to create one of the most sincere, poignant discs we've heard in some time. It may have been once easy to dimiss the Chicks as some kind of "country-lite" creation, but no more. Taking The Long Way has way too many good songs, harmonies and ideas to dismiss.

After Natalie Maines' comments in England about how she was ashamed to be from the same state as our president, country radio - which had made the band mega-stars - essentially shut them down. Even this new album is nowhere to be found on the country radio charts. As scary (and as, well, downright un-American) as it is to take a band to task for speaking their mind, it has made this a better group, and one that has the opportunity to expand their horizons beyond what they ever could have imagined. It's ironic that - despite getting the cold shoulder from the part of the industry that made them huge - as of this writing, Taking The Long Way is the #1 selling album both here in Philly and nationwide. Their loyal fan base obviously still remembers...

They get some stellar songwriting help from XPN faves like Keb' Mo', Gary Louris (of the Jayhawks), Pete Yorn, Neil Finn and others. After the soaring title track and the first single - "Not Ready To Make Nice" - make sure you check out the second half of the album, where most of the great songs live. There's the undeniably catchy "I Like It", and the Keb' Mo' collaboration "I Hope", which ends the album in a beautiful, thoughtful manner.

Written by Dan Reed

Release Date: 5/23/06

BUY THIS CD: Taking The Long Way

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