27 January 2013

27th Jan - Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces

Artist – Album: Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces
Released: 27th January 1998
Sounds Like: Being forced to line dance to death

I seriously cannot fathom what happened in the late 90’s to make people want to listen to this drivel, or Shania Twain or Leann Rimes, or watch Coyote Ugly, or take up line dancing. I’d like to think that the whole scene wasn’t really that popular, that time has skewed my memory of that harrowing period. But, according to Wikipedia, this album made 14 million sales worldwide. 14 million! That’s more than bloody Sgt. Pepper’s!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not got a problem with country music. I like the real stuff: Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton are all great. I gave a 9 out of 10 to a countrified Byrds album only a couple of weeks ago. But this is not the same thing. To me, it comes across as a sort of plastic country, a major label effort aimed at sales rather than tradition. Not a single track stuck with me for longer than it’s own outro and I was never particularly struck by any single lyric or vocal phrasing. The songs themselves are about love and heartache and, though it seems to fit kind of odd, Spice Girls-esque girl power. At one point, I did hear what sounded like a Bonnie Raitt cast-off and I was pretty happy to find out that she had contributed, but that was about the only moment in the 45 minutes of listening that made me smile. Because I recognized her, not because I like her music.

I’m sorry, but it’s rubbish.

Albumaday... rating: 4/10

1.       I Can Love You Better – 3:53
2.       Wide Open Spaces – 3:44
3.       Loving Arms – 3:37
4.       There’s Your Trouble – 3:10
5.       You Were Mine – 3:37
6.       Never Say Die – 3:56
7.       Tonight the Heartache’s on Me – 3:25
8.       Let ‘Er Rip – 2:49
9.       Once You’ve Loved Somebody – 3:28
10.   I’ll Take Care of You – 3:40
11.   Am I the Only One (Who’s Ever Felt This Way) – 3:25
12.   Give It Up or Let Me Go – 4:55

Listen to ‘There’s Your Trouble’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w_mi-J1ew

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