January 9, 2007
Dixie Chicks, “The Long Way Around”
The Chicks pen and deliver their very own emancipation proclamation with this phenomenal single. Opening with an acoustic guitar hook that borrows heavily from “Go Your Own Way”, the Chicks distill the entire history of their career into 4 1/2 minutes, with lyrical references to “hitting the highway in a pink RV with stars on the ceiling”, and remembering while some rears might have gotten lip action, they “wouldn’t kiss all the asses” they were told to.
The band radiates with a new energy and attitude, and while it sounds nothing like the acoustic sound of their last project, Home, the distinctive musicianship and signature harmonies find new ways to shine. Martie’s fiddle is as prominent and essential to the song as it was on their earlier records.
As the song build to the crescendo that quickly recounts the controversy – “I fought with a stranger and I met myself”, the “I could never follow” line that had been repeated in the early verses take on a new urgency. This bright, jangly record is the perfect anthem for those who are “taking the long way around”, doing things their own way and at their own pace. It’s also the sound of the Chicks taking back control of their own narrative and confidently shedding the one that everyone else had written for them. Grade: A+
Listen Now: The Long Way Around