Country music fans have been waiting fourteen years for The Chicks, formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, to rise from the ashes, and boy are they about to set fire to everything we ever knew about them in the best possible way. The powerful trio of songstresses is ready to share their truth with the world and lean into their brazen, rebellious side. Gaslighter is a masterpiece that was released at the absolute perfect time.
The Chicks’ evolution has been a long time in the making, and the new record is both sure to burn some bridges and build some new ones. The record is full of humor, pain, and honesty beginning with the album’s title track, “Gaslighter.” It is the perfect introduction to everything that makes this record what it is. The song is a reminder to all the naysayers that they are strong and independent women. The word itself is a not so subtle message about what the ladies have endured as products of their environment back in the heyday; however, the song is something special.
“March March,” is an in-your-face political tune about the power and importance of protest. It is sure to spark some controversy, but clearly The Chicks aren’t holding anything back, which is an evident theme throughout the entire record. In the same vein, “For Her” is another outcry for women. The beautiful harmonies shine as the songstresses pose the ideals of standing up for one another, standing up for your younger self, and showing up for yourself and other women simultaneously.
Heartbreak, bad experiences, and marital discord with men is another theme that is weaved throughout many songs on the record. In the heartbreaking ballad, “Everybody Loves You,” The Chicks break-down the hardships of ending a relationship, where your ex is loved by everybody. The singers examine that relational dynamic and divorce again in the story-telling song “My Best Friend’s Weddings;” however in this song, the ladies learned that they actually prefer their own company. “I’ve never seen her look more happy / Guess from ashes we can really grow”.
The Chicks continue to channel their angst and new-found confidence in “Tights On My Boat,” where they call out a cheating ex in a comedic, yet dark lyrical prose. Despite the subject matter, the song has an anthemic feel about it. Of course, “Sleep at Night” is another, not so subtle, message that reveals cheating rumors to be true. Ironically, the ladies cleverly place “Texas Man,” an outlier on the record, after the latter, which showcases some hope and romanticism for a post-split life.
In back to back songs, the ladies share their experiences of how divorce can impact kids. In “Julianna Calm Down,” the ladies give advice to women, who are in the throws of disintegrated relationships, naming all their children and nieces on the track. The ladies turn heartbreak into women empowerment in this necessary track, which was written by Julia Michaels, Jack Antonoff, and Natalie Maines. “You’re gonna make it through / So just put on, put on, put on your best shoes / And strut the fuck around like you’ve got nothing to lose”
“Young Man” addresses the sons that have been impacted. Specifically written for Maines’ son, the songstress encourage him and other boys to not take on the pain of the adults. The bluegrass tune is both inspiring and sad all at the same time.
Finally, the last two songs on the record have the ladies facing their pain and trials head-on. “Hope It’s Something Good” examines the heartbreaking reality that a twenty-plus year relationship is over. The vulnerability of the song is sure to resonate with fans across music genres. With that being said, the ladies end the record on a different note with “Set Me Free.” Although equally as emotive, the ballad feels like a release of pain and hurt, expressing a readiness to move on and find happiness again. It expresses closure both literally and figuratively.
The Chicks have found a way to take us through their journey for the last twenty years through their music. Gaslighter, though maybe not what fans expected or hoped for, is a fully cohesive album that is exactly what we needed. The Chicks have created a completely new space for themselves in the music scene and have really upped the ante for other artists to speak their truth in their music.
- “Julianna Calm Down”
- “Texas Man”
- “Tights On My Boat”
- “For Her”
- Sleep at Night
- Texas Man
- Everybody Loves You
- For Her
- March March
- My Best Friend’s Weddings
- Tights On My Boat
- Julianna Calm Down
- Young Man
- Hope It’s Something Good
- Set Me Free
Gaslighter is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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