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Taking the Long Way
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is one instance of "ass-kissing" in the lyrics as well as one or two uses of "hell" and "damn." The Dixie Chicks are not afraid to discuss their politics; not all families will be comfortable with their liberal views. Non-Christian listeners may notice a subtle assumption of universal Christianity.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the hands of producer Rick Rubin (who's also worked with Johnny Cash and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), the Chicks show they can rock on TAKING THE LONG WAY. But they also sing the bluesy "I Like It" and the gospel-tinged "I Hope." There seems a bit of that subtle assumption of universal Christianity so prevalent in contemporary country music, but the Chicks don't hit you over the head with it. In lyrics like "Sunday morning/I heard the preacher say/Thou shalt not kill/I don't wanna hear nothing else/about killing and that it is God's will," no judgments are made. Rather there's just the pure message of treating each other right, universally important for listeners of any faith.
Is it any good?
You may remember the uproar over the Dixie Chicks' criticism of Presidential policy a few years ago. Addressed on the new CD in the song "Not Ready to Make Nice" ("I'm not ready to make nice/I'm not ready to back down/I'm still mad as hell..."), it's clear that these women stand by their convictions while expressing them with a more adult perspective. There's a new sense of maturity brought into play on beautifully crafted songs. More glossy and elegant than in the past, the performances still slyly address issues both personal and public, with excellent musicianship setting off gorgeous vocals. Family life and motherhood seem to have affected the Chicks' songwriting and performances, imparting sentimental warmth and depth without being cloying.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "Not Ready to Make Nice," an apparent response to the reaction the Chicks got after criticizing the Bush administration a couple of years ago. Should entertainers talk about politics, or should they stick to entertaining? Do you think Natalie Maines should have apologized for her comments or not?