The Dixie Chicks are still #1 on the country charts, but Home took a dive on the Amazon rankings lately. Wide Open Spaces and Fly both dropped back down from the dizzying sales heights generated by the controversy, but then trended back up again just as Home was diving. Meanwhile, Rolling Stone pointed out that there really wasn’t all that much boycotting, and Rosanne Cash is appalled. By the media, not by the Chicks.
However, what everyone really wants to know: are they any good? Um… OK. Wide Open Spaces really was not anywhere near anything I want to hear, and while I’m not a country fan I did try and give it a fair shake. Lots of preprocessed strings, gloss, and so on. Nice close harmonies but man, if I want good close harmonies I can find ‘em someplace with some genuine feeling.
Being diligent, I loaded Home into my CD player for the drive back into work the next day. And, surprise, not actually half-bad. It’s not my favorite kind of music, but the production was stripped down and free of gooey studio backing the Chicks were a lot more palatable. From the lyrics sheet, they wrote some of the songs themselves, which is at least a start. Not recommended per se, but I wouldn’t leap through a plate glass window to avoid it either.