The Chicks, who recently dropped the "Dixie," are saying "boy bye" on their new album, Gaslighter, and "hello" to whatever comes next.
The once controversial band's first album in 14 years is a rollercoaster of emotions inspired by lead singer Natalie Maines' divorce from husband, actor Adrian Pasdar. The most poignant lyrics on The Chicks' Gaslighter cover some of the good, but mostly the bad and the really ugly parts of dissolving a marriage. For instance, the sing-song title track equates Maines' relationship to tactical emotional manipulation. But it's not all ugly; the sweet "Texas Man" is an ode to finding love again with a man from the Lone Star state who can handle her baggage.
Throughout the album, Maines and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer, who have also been through divorces of their own, unspool a tale of infidelity complete with clues — "Tights On My Boat" being a big one — but never names names. The universality of it all turns the album, produced by pop hitmaker Jack Antonoff, into a honest, thought provoking sing-along full of personal and political rage that comes correct with more than a few zingers. ("Hey, will your dad pay taxes now that I am done?" being one particularly savage bon mot.) It's the kind of album that deals with all the big clashing feels this strange year has brought. Gaslighter is angry but hopeful, tired but energized, frustrated but cautiously optimistic of what the future holds.