Recommendation XV: Dixie Chicks

I hope the “iCF Singles Review” addition was interesting, because I enjoyed doing it and hope to do another sometime soon. I have a little free time this Sunday afternoon (well, I should be getting my readings done for class, go exercise, eat, and do my laundry, but I’ll put that off for the time being lol). For my next recommendation, I’ve had this particular song in mind for many months – it was just tough picking one from the group and from the album! – and I knew this was the best time to do it. They’re currently doing a few dates with The Eagles here in L.A. @ the brand-new Nokia Theatre (I wanted to attend so bad, but tickets are expensive and I’m pretty busy these days!).

My fifteenth recommendation is: the Dixie Chicks’ “Voice Inside My Head” from their 2006 Taking the Long Way album. There’s really no way to talk about this album and not smile about how mind-blowing it is…I mean, just WOW. I’m not going to bring up the whole “incident” stuff, for my own sake, since that’d take too much writing for me to do! When I first heard “Not Ready to Make Nice”, I totally loved it and I thought it was really catchy and a great song to “come-back” with, but I admit, when I first listened to clips of the new album, I was not 100% impressed for some reason (that goes to show how I can be wrong about things at first listen, sometimes!). I remember I kept streaming the album on MSN.com’s website over and over, and would listen to it while playing video games (real mature, I know ha) and man, I really got into it: I could really see how the music is still country IMO but quite different at the same time. I love how the Chicks didn’t let go of their roots and kept the fiddles, steel guitar, banjo, mandolin, and country-vocals in their music and blended it with a California-rock type of sound. I think that, even though, the Chicks don’t know what to classify the album and allegedly “turned their backs on country music”, the album is still, overall, a country album. I was so thrilled and excited for the Chicks, and everybody involved with creating this album (you rock Rick Rubin!), when the GRAMMYs came around – though, I do wish the award show played clips of other songs on Taking the Long Way as well other than just “Not Ready…”, which I thought was kinda overused during the wins, IMO – because that was a chance to show these women are more than the song and it’d showcase all the music.

Let’s get to “Voice Inside My Head” now: this is one that really stood out for me on my beginning listenings. The instrumentation on the song is very alternative-country and rock with some pop elements – though I would not consider it a “country” song. I gotta add that the music (slide/electric/acoustic guitar and drums) really reminded me of songs from a group called Pinmonkey, especially the tracks, “Augusta” and “Falling Down”, so that was a bonus (check those guys out: if you like the Chicks, you’d probably like them too!)  Besides the production, the lyrics are the most significant part of the power of “Voice Inside My Head”. It’s up to interpretation: the listener can decide if the issue is about adoption or abortion – I say the latter. So essentially, the song is about a woman who bore a child when she was a teenager, didn’t know what to do so she had to let go of the child, and is now looking back and regrets not knowing the child and continues to be haunted by the memory of her decision years after. I don’t ever recall hearing a song about this, in such a matter (Tim McGraw’s “Red Ragtop” comes to mind, but that one is more about losing his past lover than losing their baby, it seems). Natalie Maines‘ vocals are spot-on and like I’ve said in past reviews of other songs and artists, you really feel like she experienced it herself and is in the bitter questioning situation of “what if?”.  Emily Robison and Martie Maguire‘s harmonies add more to the depth of the song, and the Chicks present one of the best songs of 2006.

Abortion and adoption are not topics I can relate to, so I don’t have much of a connection to the song, but I know many people could absolutely relate to either one of them, so I had to bring more attention to this song and this album, anyway that I could. I am proud to say that Taking the Long Way is one of my top favorite albums of all time and I’m stoked to see what other music the Chicks can shoot out. I love all of their tunes: the traditional honky-tonk country, the pop-country, the bluegrass, the rock-n-roll jams, and anything in between or blended together. Ahh, just gotta love it! I think my personal #1 favorite song of the Chicks would be “Top of the World” from their Home album. I thought about reviewing that one too, but decided not to…maybe in the future! One last note: I can’t believe (the USA store) iTunes took “The Neighbor” off – good thing I was able to download that one when I had the chance! (for those who don’t know what it is: it was a DC single from their Shut Up and Sing documentary and they sang it in concert a few times as well, and iTunes had it up for purchase for a while).  Fans in Canada and Australia can still download “the Neighbor” from what I’ve read.

Thanks for reading!

Buy the song here on iTunes now!

Here are the full lyrics to “Voice Inside My Head”, written by Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Linda Perry, Emily Robison, & Dan Wilson:

I was only a kid
When I said goodbye to you
Ten summers ago
But it feels like yesterday
Lost, scared and alone
Nothing I could give to you
I tried, I really did
But I couldn’t find another way

And I want and I need
Somehow to believe
In the choice I made
Am I better off this way?

I can hear the voice inside my head
Saying you should be with me instead
Every time I’m feeling down
I wonder: what would it be like with you around?

So I, I made my way
Cold and roaming in the wild
I’m forever changed
By someone I never knew
Now I’ve, I’ve got a place
I’ve got a husband and a child
But I’ll never forget
What I’ve given up in you

And I want, I need
Somehow to believe
In the choice I made
Am I better off this way?

I can hear the voice inside my head
Saying you should be with me instead
Every time I’m feeling down
I wonder: what would it be like with you around?

And I want, I need
Somehow to believe
In the choice I made
Am I better off this way?

I can hear the voice inside my head
Saying you should be with me instead
Every time I’m feeling down
I wonder: what would it be like with you around?

What would it be like with you around?
What would life be like with you around?

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http://www.dixiechicks.com/

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome choice from a flawless album. Love it!

    I’ve had the second entry in “Choice Cuts” in my head for months and I think I’ll finally write it this weekend. Loving the new posts!

    K


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