Song Review – “Gaslighter” by The Dixie Chicks
Hey, so what does everyone think about American politics?
That’s basically the anthill you’re kicking over whenever you invoke the name of the Dixie Chicks, even though their music was never really that political, and the polarization of their name was more due to misunderstanding and hysteria as opposed to some true injury suffered by anyone. But of course, try telling that to an incited electorate that is quick to act like their hair is on fire at even the most perceived slight from someone with an opposing viewpoint to their own.
Meanwhile the media has been no help in diffusing the situation or realigning the public’s focus back where it belongs, which is on the music itself. They’re here to exacerbate Dixie Chicks polarization for clicks by ginning up political acrimony, and often misrepresenting the history and legacy of this important and groundbreaking country band while misinterpreting their output specifically.
But here we are nonetheless, being tasked to regard the first original song in 14 years from the Dixie Chicks called “Gaslighter.” The trio does themselves no favors in attempting to leave behind their polarizing and politically-tinged legacy by naming this song and their new album with such a term. Beyond the classical meaning, “Gaslighter” has become a favorite retort of the “woke” call out culture—a trump card to play in an argument no different from “mansplaining,” or accusing one’s adversary of an “ism” to supersede and undercut any argument being made by them, especially if that argument is salient, and can’t be defeated. It’s a conversation ender.
But the song “Gaslighter” does not have a political heart to it really at all, except possibly in subtle undertones which are forgivable, if not beneficial by allowing the song’s meaning and message to connect with more people. Instead, “Gaslighter” is a very personal song, pertinent and autobiographical to the primary singer and songwriter, Natalie Maines, and specifically her marriage to Adrian Pasdar—an actor that Maines met at the wedding of Charlie Robison and fellow Chicks member Emily Erwin in 2000.
Lines from the song such as, “We moved to California and followed your dreams,” and “Hollywood welcomed you with open doors” make it very clear who the subject and ire of “Gaslighter” is, though you can expect swaths of the media and fans to get this wrong, and say it’s all allegorical to that “orange guy” or old white men in general.
Similarly, the story of how the Dixie Chicks originally dissolved has been repeated so wrongly for so many years, most believe it’s: “They were banished from country music for being outspoken women and shortly retired,” as opposed the band launching a big comeback record after the fracas surrounding the President Bush comments, which netted them 2.5 million copies sold and five Grammy Awards. Then Natalie Maines specifically decided to walk away from the group to move to California and start a family with Adrian Pasdar. The couple has two kids, and formally divorced in July of 2017. It was that divorce and the aging of Natalie’s kids that opened the door for a Dixie Chicks reunification.
Of course what can get lost in all the choosing of sides that immediately grips the audience whenever the Dixie Chicks are cited—with half spitting raspberries at these anti-American bimbos, and the other half often embellishing their efforts in a show of political solidarity—is the actual music itself. Don’t buy into what any of the naysayers of this important country trio attempt to portray. The Dixie Chicks were revolutionary neotraditionalists during their mainstream country heyday, bringing traditional instrumentation and three-part harmonies back to the forefront of the format at a time when it was much needed, writing many of their own songs, and playing their own instruments in a way that inspired an entire generation of girls and women to pick up fiddles, mandolins, guitars, and banjos, making them cool once again.
But you don’t get a lot of that in “Gaslighter,” similar to how the trio forwent this rootsy approach on their final record before the hiatus, Taking The Long Way from 2006. The greatest fear when this new record was announced was that producer Jack Antonoff might take the trio in an electronic direction, as he’s done with the production of many of his records, including from former “country” performer Taylor Swift. That fear really doesn’t bear out with the song “Gaslighter,” but you still just get sort of this basic, pop rock style approach that for sure has plenty of dynamics and moments that will lead to an infectious reception to many in the audience, but doesn’t really smack of roots, or really any sort of significant originality.
But “Gaslighter” is not really safe either. The approach both lyrically and sonically is bold. The militant approach of the song and video will not help in the mending of wounds though. The use of open sourced file footage from the 50’s that you see in many popular videos these days is getting a little old. But it does fit the mood of the song well.
Possibly what holds “Gaslighter” and its video back the most is the palpable anger that you feel flowing from Natalie Maines, which has fueled the lingering resentment for the Dixie Chicks despite their hiatus beyond the original political acrimony swirling around the band. Certainly “Gaslighter” does a good job being expressive and personal, which is at the heart of most great songs. But there’s no resolution, or moving on from the pain.
A song like “Gaslighter” just sort of boils your blood, but doesn’t leave anywhere for that emotion to go afterwards. Perhaps this will be resolved in subsequent songs from the record. But for now, a band that toys with your emotions at the mere mention of their name fans the flames of frayed nerves with this new song. “Gaslighter” is about the farthest thing from moving on, burying the hatchet, or building bridges that the Dixie Chicks could have brought to the table to bring the focus back to the music. The song may not be expressly political, but it’s red meat for their constituency, while their detractors will find ample ammunition to hate on through this effort, and validation for their knee jerk acrimony at the band’s mere mention.
Nonetheless, extricating yourself from the incredible circus and anger that comes with the Dixie Chicks, “Gaslighter” is fine, even if it isn’t especially “country.” That ship sort of sailed with the Dixie Chicks in 2006 anyway. It’s a shame, because in a time when country music could use an injection of chicks playing fiddles, guitars, and banjos to counteract the electronic incursion into country and the male dominance of the format, the Dixie Chicks look to be moving in the direction of delivering songs for an explosive arena rock tour.
But a song like “Gaslighter” is not the problem in country music, or music in general. It’s probably slightly above average, even though you will see many obsequiously singing its praises to the rafters, while others will discount it before hearing a peep just because these women once chose to exercise their 1st Amendment Rights.
“But they were on foreign soil during a war when they said that!!!” Yeah yeah, whatever. Like Dave Chapelle once said, “Why you care so much what the Dixie Chicks say? It’s not like they’re political scientists or nothing. They’re just bitches that can sing good. You know what I mean? Just stop worshiping celebrities so much.”
And if you do that, “Gaslighter” renders itself as being just fine, but only “just fine” instead of a formidable comeback that could have reunified positive sentiment behind this important band.
1 1/4 Guns Up (6/10)
March 4, 2020 @ 12:40 pm
Folks, let’s please try to keep the discussion upon the Dixie Chicks, this song, and try to mitigate political back and forths that are not directly relevant to the subject at hand.
March 4, 2020 @ 6:56 pm
People talk trash about President Trump… Literally all of Hollywood at award shows, on talk shows, everywhere….
I feel sorry for the Dixie Chicks… Freedom of Speech was not kind to them in 2003
March 5, 2020 @ 7:35 am
#1 on iTunes !!!!
March 9, 2020 @ 10:41 am
Ok. This song sucks.
March 4, 2020 @ 12:41 pm
So it’s not about lighting farts?
March 4, 2020 @ 1:53 pm
As soon as I heard the title I thought Wheeler Walker Jr. could do it better.
March 4, 2020 @ 6:52 pm
No , that’s the topic of the new Hot Country Knights’ song….
March 4, 2020 @ 12:42 pm
Chorus is painful but rest of the song works for me. Will buy whatever these chicks put out.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:05 pm
I forgot to mention that too. I feel like they are screaming the chorus. After listening to the song a few times, my ears were ringing. It’s not pleasant.
March 4, 2020 @ 2:30 pm
Yep, take out that God awful chorus, not a bad song.
March 5, 2020 @ 4:57 am
That’s not how it works. This song is terrible.
March 5, 2020 @ 6:41 am
Thanks for clearing that up…
March 4, 2020 @ 12:46 pm
Nice to hear new music from this incredibly talented group!
March 4, 2020 @ 12:50 pm
Sounds like a type song Taylor Swift would write after she gets married and divorced.
March 5, 2020 @ 1:39 am
The truth in this comment made me laugh. To be honest, this sounds like a track from her latest album.
March 4, 2020 @ 12:59 pm
lol daaaamn burn to the ex
I was just listening to their “Fly’ record yesterday. They have some really good songs. However this song doesn’t do it for me. The production sucks. Some of the lyrics are good but the chorus is annoying. I wont be adding this song to my playlist.
Are they marketing this as country?
March 4, 2020 @ 2:23 pm
It’s already receiving mandated hourly play on iHeartMedia stations, so not only is it coming to country radio, it’s likely to debut on the charts next week. We’ll have to see what the overall strategy is for it beyond that.
March 4, 2020 @ 2:44 pm
I think we all knew what this was going to be like as soon as we heard the vogueish title. Certainly not the music that made us fall in love with them.
NB I will always support what they said about Bush – they were right, damnit.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:03 pm
Disclaimer: I’ve always been pro-Dixie Chicks and thought the controversy was stupid.
I agree “Gaslighter” just doesn’t go anywhere and it’s too personal…
‘Cause, boy, you know exactly what you did on my boat
And, boy, that’s exactly why you ain’t comin’ home
Do I even want to know what the fuck happened on the boat? Am I supposed to sing along with that line. I don’t own a boat.
I thought “Not Ready to Make Nice” was too personal and un-relatable also (and tired), but ended up loving the rest of Taking The Long Way. I’m hoping for better tracks despite this being the “lead single” and their first new music as a group in almost 14 years.
I’m also hoping for some country instrumentation, too. I know their new audience in broad ranging. A friend of mine who travels the country seeing them in concert said their core audience is gay and lesbian and to not hold my breath for fiddles and banjos (I haven’t seen them in concert since 2006).
March 4, 2020 @ 2:25 pm
“Do I even want to know what the fuck happened on the boat? Am I supposed to sing along with that line. I don’t own a boat. “
Okay, this made me laugh.
For the record, one of the things I like about the song is that it is so personal and honest. But I see what you’re saying there. She’s being so specific, it’s sort of hard to relate to. I’m also a little afraid Adrian Pasdar is gonna get doxed and have his house firebombed.
March 4, 2020 @ 3:19 pm
Yeah…this isn’t a political song. Judging from the lyrics and straight forward images, it’s a…”My Ex is an Asshole” song…!!!
For some reason the chords, harmonies and beat remind me of Fleetwood Mac.
(the commercial Fleetwood Mac)
I’m wondering when we will be getting the…Ex Husband’s Mix…????
March 4, 2020 @ 4:14 pm
The first two times I heard the song, I heard “vote” (not boat). I thought she was mad at a politician. That’s how political everything is now! I got to dumb this shit down to understand the meaning.
March 4, 2020 @ 4:47 pm
Made me laugh too, hoptown. I agree with you. Then again, we’re probably not their target audience anyways, so I didn’t really expect to like it going in.
Country When Country Wasn't Cool
March 5, 2020 @ 10:33 am
I’m dying to know what happened on the boat.
March 5, 2020 @ 1:04 pm
I’m sure he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and she either heard about it, or saw enough.
One of Natalie’s problems is her ego.
And since it happened to her, like it has Never happened to anyone else *gasp*, she just Had to put it in a militant song, so all the world could see she has been the most *gasp*, wronged person in history.
Time to grow up honey
March 6, 2020 @ 1:15 am
dead on di …….she bores me
March 8, 2020 @ 7:28 am
Um so how is that song screaming militant just cause she put her troubles in a song, what are you smoking? Do you keep that energy with anyone talking about their love life in their song, guessing not.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:04 pm
I appreciate your attempts to analyze the song apolitically, but let’s not mistake what this effort is. They named the project “Gaslighter” for a very obvious reason. Once again, just like before, they are using controversy to market an album as opposed to the actual musical qualities, which for this song are almost none. I had to turn this off halfway through; the anger was just too much. Hopefully they figure out how to make good-quality music that doesn’t rely on controversy to sell.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:08 pm
Well anger is not exactly new to the Dixie Chicks. “Lubbock Or Leave It” is the angriest country song I’ve ever heard, and that includes all the Hank 3 songs about his dad.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 4, 2020 @ 1:32 pm
“I just want them to go back to nice, non-controversial, apolitical songs…like ‘Goodbye Earl’!!!”
March 4, 2020 @ 4:36 pm
Mr. Strait, I recommend a dip into the overall catalog of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, if you want to hear angry country songs. They are the angriest and funniest I’ve ever heard.
March 4, 2020 @ 3:22 pm
I strongly believe that what happened to the Dixie Chicks was one of the biggest embarrassments in the history of country music and a black stain on the genre. As country fans, I feel like it’s important that we all fess up to this, attempt to make it right, and make sure nothing similar every happens again.
That said, Natalie Maines has not done herself or the Dixie Chicks any favors since the controversy. No, I’m not suggesting she just “shut up and sing,” but she loves to poke the bear, to stoke the flames of resentment against her. She feeds off of it, while still claiming the victim. And yes, there is sort of a passive aggressive thing going on with this song like she almost wants to be criticized for being political, just so she can chide back that there’s nothing political about the song. Like Batterycap says below, it’s like she loves to be angry, and that has made the act of reconciliation that myself and others have attempted to undergo that much more difficult. This song does not help.
March 4, 2020 @ 4:51 pm
I guess that’s kind of my whole point. The whole controversy they were engaged in before was stupid; that said it seems they embraced it and made quite a bit in doing so.
I don’t know what I was hoping for with this project… Maybe a bit more maturity to focus on the music and prove that the controversy before really was stupid? Regardless, they aren’t going to win any fans with a mediocre showing like this.
March 4, 2020 @ 11:49 pm
One of the most embarrassing things? Lol. The Chicks did it to themselves. Actually, Maines, who seems to be a bit unstable (I’d love to hear her ex husband’s side of the story), did it and the other two just stood back and let her burn the house to the ground. Maines is a loud mouth who shoots off at the lip and then cries victim.
The girls had a reputation in Nashville long before the ‘controversy’; they were not well liked because of their attitude. Maines exercised her ‘rights’ as you say, and, like it or not, her fans exercised their ‘rights’ in their response (for good or bad). The Chicks are not victims, but they play them on tv.
Up until their Home album, which I loved BTW, I found them contrived and nothing more than a creation of the machine. Super talented each one, but a test tube band once they added Maines and signed in Nashville. When they finally broke free, they made some great music, but then Maines kept opening her giant mouth, and it hurt them.
Some artists are built for the political arena, most aren’t. In this case, I think the best thing would be for these ladies to focus on creating great music and let go of the anger. Move on. They can sit back with the rest of us and watch Isbell burn his career to the ground.
March 8, 2020 @ 7:34 am
“Loud mouth victim, “yeah she should shut up and sing , and look pretty, ?right
The only folks who needs to move are reactionary fans like yourself .
What happened to them was out if order, no ifs and or buts and you’re perpetuating nonsense
March 5, 2020 @ 6:43 am
My argument has always been that, independent of political views or whatever, the problem with their comments back then was that they offended their fan base, showing an ignorance and/or lack of concern for their own constituency. I am one of those odd folks that still really like GW Bush, but I had no problem with the comment that was made since it was their prerogative and based upon their own views. But, as a whole, the crowd to whom they catered, like it or not, was not on board. You can say what you want, but do not get upset when it comes back to bite you.
As for an embarrassment to country music, I cannot argue with you since it smacked of intolerance once news footage of their CDs being steamrolled by angry Americans surfaced. The whole thing just portrayed ignorance all around.
I hope that’s not too political. As for the song, I am vanilla on it. If I do not hear it again, I will not miss it. I expect it to make a medium showing on charts and disappear; I really wish the Chicks would go back to formula and make the good country music they did years ago. They were so good.
Cool Lester Smooth
March 4, 2020 @ 1:29 pm
God…I love them so fucking much.
This definitely isn’t one of their top-tier songs, on an individual basis, but I could see it being an absolute knockout in the context of their full album.
More importantly…a mid-range Dixie Chicks song stands up with anything released by anyone in the past calendar year.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:40 pm
I challenge that with Caylee Hammack’s Small Town Hypocrite. I recently discovered her and that song… which is a hundred times better than this dixie chicks song both production and lyric wise
March 4, 2020 @ 1:45 pm
oh and same with Ashley McByrde’s First Thing I reach for and Martha Divine.
I like the chick’s music mostly but this song sucks.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:41 pm
Come on trigger can’t you find an old Maine’s interview to tie to this song to make it seem more political?? It worked with isbells song.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:42 pm
It’s good to have the Dixie Chicks back. Listening to this song gets me in all the nostalgia feels.
March 4, 2020 @ 1:54 pm
They were and likely are just so good. I miss them. Ms. Maines seems to have a permanent burr under her saddle about something – anything. I bet if the burr fell out she would dismount, pick it up, and place it back under the saddle.
These ladies are the only ban I have ever driven more than 200 miles to see – and they were great.
Fat Freddy's Cat
March 4, 2020 @ 2:00 pm
I’m a fan of the Dixie Chicks and think the political controversy was ridiculous. But this song is kinda meh for me. It seems like a waste of the artists’ great talents. And the video…more than a little weird.
March 4, 2020 @ 2:30 pm
I’m not a fan of releasing songs directly with videos, because the visuals ultimately cloud your judgement on the audio. The video does this song no favors. It sort of accentuates what’s wrong with it, unless you’re a die hard Dixie Chicks fan. Let the song stand on its own, and then let the video come through a few weeks later to give it a promotional boost. They were clearly going for the Beyonce at the Super Bowl vibe with Maines wearing those anti-bird spikes you buy at Hone Depot on her shoulders.
Fat Freddy's Cat
March 5, 2020 @ 12:02 pm
For me the problem is simply that the images in the video don’t connect with the content of the song at all. As you say, it’s a personal song; I don’t see any sign of that in the video–it looks like it goes with a completely different song.
March 4, 2020 @ 3:25 pm
I know for the most part artists these days release a new song with the video. I personally never watch em because I want to just hear the song and not watch the song. So I click, minimize, and listen if a site has the actual video. I hate most videos and ironically I’m a video engineer for a living. This song (the music) really did nothing for me and that’s ok I’m sure they’ll do fine.
March 4, 2020 @ 4:33 pm
The combination of music and video can be extremely powerful and an art in itself.
I’ve watched some experimental music videos that I thought were pretty cool. Of course, they weren’t artist promo stuff….
But it’s weird that pop songs are suppose to be stuffed with hooks and the intros gotta be short-short….(get to the chorus, damn it, come on!!!) BUT….the videos have really LOOOOOONG intros where nothing really happens…??
I also generally hate the part of the Music video where the musician gets to be an Actor…..(musicians are performers…performers aren’t always actors)
March 4, 2020 @ 2:17 pm
I’m glad they are back. This is not my favorite song, production wise. Looking forward to hearing new material.
March 4, 2020 @ 2:21 pm
As far as the music..to me it sounds like another generic, totally manufactured and machine perfected watered down pop song.
But RS says it’s “righteous indignation and emancipation,” so what do I know?
March 4, 2020 @ 2:25 pm
I’m happy to hear The Chicks are back. I’ll bet radio plays this new single of theirs before they play Miranda Lambert’s “BLUEBIRD” which is a great single.
March 4, 2020 @ 2:26 pm
What’s with the website updates?
I can’t see how many “likes” a comment gets….
March 4, 2020 @ 2:43 pm
I went to like a comment that had 1 like and it took the like away & now shows zero likes. glitch or new system?
March 5, 2020 @ 1:16 pm
This page is run by socialist now! You get one “like!” If you try “liking” something that’s already been liked by another reader, that comment will lose its “like.” One like for everyone, share the “likes” … Fell the Bern!!!
March 4, 2020 @ 3:09 pm
Folks, we’ve doing some back end work on the site over the last couple of days. There may be some glitches and stuff here and there but hopefully this will all be temporary. Thanks for your understanding.
March 4, 2020 @ 2:26 pm
I think this is the only way them to make a comeback. And this is what I call THE COMEBACK. It has high quality production, massive chorus, personal lyrics and a name you won’t forget. It’s a song you will remember after a one listen. Yet it still sounds very Dixie Chicks and has their signature harmonies. So yeah I think it’s awesome and I’m sure the whole album will be, no doubt! So happy they’re back
March 4, 2020 @ 2:42 pm
I heard absolutely nothing that I like about the Dixie Chicks in that song.
March 4, 2020 @ 3:07 pm
This comment right here.
March 4, 2020 @ 5:34 pm
I’ll second that.
I also think someone’s earlier Taylor Swift comparison holds. It’s noisy, angry, Pop. Which will ultimately tie up country music station wattage for something other than Country.
Another thing I find unfortunate about their style shift: it’s essentially reduced the Erwin sisters to BGV’s and eye candy. Of course, they are up to those tasks, but back in the day their instrumental contributions were so integral to the group’s sound that it was easy to consider all three members to be of equal importance.
March 4, 2020 @ 3:05 pm
Not a fan of the ladies…but the track is pretty catchy. Catchy…but not good.
The lyrics…well…let’s rewrite the text with some (country) buzzwords about backroads, honky tonkin’ or motorboatin’…& “Gaslighter” would be a medium-sized hit for Little Big Town.
March 4, 2020 @ 5:40 pm
I’m guessing ol’ Adrian did a little motorboatin’ with a stowaway second mate.
March 4, 2020 @ 3:50 pm
I love this song. It has all of the passion that DC had with “Not Ready to Make Nice.” Natalie could sing the phone book (wait, do we still get phone books?) and she would make me believe it. That is what a good song SHOULD do. I am sure there are people threatening to never to listen to iHeartRadio again for playing this song. We are living in a different time, with artists such as Taylor Swift (on the left) and John Rich (on the right) not being afraid to share their political beliefs. I don’t care how artists feel about their politics as long as I enjoy their music.
March 4, 2020 @ 3:57 pm
How originally militant
March 4, 2020 @ 4:54 pm
This song is not doing anything for me. Excuse me while I go back to listen to You Were Mine, Cowboy Take Me Away, and Tonight The Heartache’s On Me.
March 4, 2020 @ 5:04 pm
And I didn’t need to be reminded of that oddly disturbing Pansy horse video again!
March 4, 2020 @ 7:49 pm
The great thing about music is the fact that we can choose whether to listen or not.
March 4, 2020 @ 4:54 pm
Buy more halfhearted woke-ish music now!!! help the chicks retire for good!!! etc.
ha, jk. do not spend money on this “music.” Look after your food supply, 401k and your bitcoin.
Country When Country Wasn't Cool
March 4, 2020 @ 5:33 pm
I’ve always thought that when things blew up for them, it was a big mistake on the part of country radio. It left a big void…no one sounded like them on the radio. I like the song. I hope they do include some “classic” Dixie Chicks production on the new album. If anyone has the talent to give female country artists a shot in the arm, it’s this group.
March 4, 2020 @ 5:43 pm
It’s fine. Nothing special but I don’t hate it either. It also sounds basically nothing like what made the Dixie Chicks great.
So much of the discussion around them (understandably) focuses on Natalie though that I sometimes wonder how much Martie and Emily are actually on board with and how much they’re just going along to keep having a gig. I suppose they must agree with the direction to some degree otherwise they could have ditched Natalie and just kept doing Court Yard Hounds albums, but it seems like we hardly ever hear from the other 2/3 of the band.
March 4, 2020 @ 6:16 pm
I believe it is because the other 2/3 of the band have some class
North Woods Country
March 4, 2020 @ 5:51 pm
You know why the new Carly Pearce album is so refreshing? Because the former relationship songs have the narrator taking ownership that she was part of the reason shit went south. After years and years or “I’m a victim!” songs, it’s hard to feel much about this song.
March 4, 2020 @ 6:12 pm
What are you talking about? We all know that one side is always perfectly virtuous and the other completely monstrous. There is no middle ground. She sounds like a turncoat in need of a good cancelling.
March 7, 2020 @ 6:49 am
March 4, 2020 @ 7:14 pm
Maybe I’m getting old, but I laughed at the video the whole way through. It’s like a bad pop music video from the 80’s, bless their hearts.
March 6, 2020 @ 1:23 am
”It’s like a bad pop music video from the 80’s, bless their hearts.”
yes . I thought that was their intent ..??……mission accomplished
March 4, 2020 @ 7:26 pm
Gaslighting is not a political term, it describes human behavior. As for the Dixie Chicks, I always liked their pluck more than their music, and I like Lloyd Maines way better than Natalie as an artist. Probably should put on some Joe Ely or Terry Allen come to think of it.
North Woods Country
March 4, 2020 @ 7:35 pm
The meaning of which is pretty much subjective because it’s hard to prove that it happened given its personal nature.
March 4, 2020 @ 8:41 pm
The classic meaning of the term is not a political term, but it has most certainly become increasingly commonly used in political discourse as a comeback when someone is called a radical or unhinged. “You’re Gaslighting” is considered a mic drop-style retort to immediately discredit the other party in an argument with no need for further discussion.
North Woods Country
March 5, 2020 @ 5:18 am
People are really using ir in that context? That’s not even in the ballpark of its classic meaning
Fat Freddy's Cat
March 5, 2020 @ 11:23 am
You’re right but alas political discourse in this country–not all that intelligent to begin with–has degenerated into little more than a monkey shit-fight.
Atomic Zombie Redneck
March 4, 2020 @ 7:44 pm
I like it.
March 4, 2020 @ 9:25 pm
Some may say this song is too personal, but most of us have been on the receiving end of a “gaslighter” to some degree…whether family member, coworker/boss, significant other, etc. As soon as I heard they had titled their new album with this psychological term, I knew what it was about…and could relate. And yes, Natalie, the storyteller here, doesn’t tie up her tale with a smile and anecdote at the end of the song, but that is realistic given the story told. This song is realistic and to me, it and the video do not disappoint.
March 4, 2020 @ 9:35 pm
I actually quite like it! No, it’s not very country, but I still like it a lot more than what’s mostly on the radio. It’s very catchy, and it still features their signature harmonies. Always loved the Dixie Chicks, and hearing new music from them gets me nostalgic for the late 90’s/early 00’s all over again. Hopefully, the new album will also have some songs more along the lines of their “classic” sound.
March 4, 2020 @ 9:57 pm
I’m a fan of their older material. Paid to see them live, and they were great. I just don’t care for the production on this one.
March 4, 2020 @ 10:14 pm
What a shit song. If you’re gonna have a come back then lead with something good for God’s sake. My commute is 70 minutes round trip and they played this FOUR TIMES.
March 4, 2020 @ 10:44 pm
It’s a shame that Court Yard Hounds was not successful enough for Martie and Emily to break free from Natalie once and for all. It’s also interesting that Martie and Emily are founding members of the Dixie Chicks and that Natalie was brought in five years later. Granted, a large chunk of the Dixie Chicks’ eventual success was due to Natalie’s unique vocals, but Natalie’s “unique vocals” were also the reason for the band’s crash-and-burn. For better or for worse, Natalie has become the face and force behind the group, and unless her toxic and bitter demeanor subsides, the group will never reach their prior heights.
March 6, 2020 @ 1:28 am
”It’s a shame that Court Yard Hounds was not successful enough for Martie and Emily to break free from Natalie once and for all”
I’m not sure Courtyard Hounds had any ‘vision’ ….and real sense of who they were as artists .
they were probably happy letting natalie dictate the direction and the vision . but yeah …if they were so inspired , the courtyard hounds may have developed into something of significance .
March 5, 2020 @ 1:34 am
I don’t hate it, but this sounds like a Taylor Swift song, probably due to Antonoff’s production choices. I am one of biggest Swift fans but it’s really weird to hear someone like her, especially if it’s from an established country group.
Yes, the chorus was the worst part of this song. It’s grating.
March 5, 2020 @ 2:33 am
Really showing your ass with this review man. There’s nothing ‘political’, whatever that means, about the experience of ‘gaslighting’. There is, however, a consistent predictable historical and very current trend not to listen to women’s experiences, and/or to belittle them, and in the Dixie case, to try hard to punnish them. This is not ‘controversial’. This is however different than a typical Taylor Swift career ‘bad boyfriend ‘ song where someone’s feeling were hurt. When you skim these issues in your review, and your conclusion is that the song is more attention grabbing because of a ‘buzz word’ it’s revealing.
I’m not really feeling this new one, myself- it’s always interesting to hear where established artists go after long breaks.
March 5, 2020 @ 4:55 am
This song is terrible and the video is even worse.
March 5, 2020 @ 7:55 am
Trig why is it showing I’ve liked a bunch of comments I never liked? I opened this post for the first time and it shows I’ve already liked like half the comments? Did you change something? Do I have an impostor?
March 5, 2020 @ 9:16 am
We’re doing a bunch of stuff on the back end of the site, and trying to work out some kinks with the “like” buttons. We’re definitely aware of the problem, and the good news is that it’s actually registering all the like people are placing, just not displaying them. That’s why we haven’t taken them down entirely. Hoping to get it fixed soon.
March 5, 2020 @ 8:16 am
If someone told me Kacey Musgraves wrote this I would believe it. I heard the song on the way into the work and really liked it. I saw the video and the song got lost. Bad decision to make such a busy video. A simple record them playing it live with a full crowd would have been a lot more effective.
March 5, 2020 @ 9:15 am
So, I’ll say this: the women in my life LOVE this song, even though the men are ambivalent. I’m not saying this is universal to everyone. But, the very personal nature of the song combined with the common experience of women having been gaslighted by at least one person in their life results in a song that a lot of women very much identify with.
March 5, 2020 @ 10:12 am
Did you actually call these women “bimbos” ?!
March 5, 2020 @ 10:22 am
It is extremely, extremely obvious that when the Dixie Chicks were referred to as “bimbos” in this article, this was taking the stance of their kneejerk detractors, not an original opinion or expression of Saving Country Music. Even asking or inferring otherwise nears insult.
March 5, 2020 @ 10:52 am
The video is terrible. The song is…okay. People are complaining about the chorus, but I think that’s actually what is going to sell the song. If I was just listening to the song and not watching the video, I think the take would be different. The video obviously plays with sexual politics and the patriarchy, but the lyrics seem specifically targeted to Adrian Pasdar. As someone stated above, it seems like a Taylor Swift song. True. I think if the chorus were toned down it would seem more personal and less so like a Taylor Swift song. That video though…ugh.
I always felt bad for Martie and Emily. They got in trouble for Natalie’s big mouth and probably just felt compelled to support their friend and lead singer, but Natalie was always kind of obnoxious.
March 5, 2020 @ 10:54 am
Oh, and I do wish it had more traditional instrumentation. Where’s Martie’s fiddle?
March 5, 2020 @ 11:03 am
Holy heck, I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. And here I was all geared up to go off on how Natalie Maines hates Country Music AND people who listen to it.
And to be fair, this isn’t even anything close to a country song.
BUT as far as pop songs go, this is pretty darn good.
And NO I wasn’t expecting it to sound country.
I just wasn’t expecting it to be… even remotely enjoyable.
March 5, 2020 @ 11:32 am
That chorus reminds me of something from a vintage ABBA song… As far as the ‘Chicks in general, I am a proud fiscal conservative. Their politics are of little concern to me. In fact, I propose their live version of “Travelin’ Soldier” to be of the finest pieces of music I have ever heard.
March 5, 2020 @ 11:54 am
They were never good so it’s not surprising to me how bad this song is. They just seem angry all the time. Like grow up lol.
March 5, 2020 @ 12:35 pm
As someone who was shocked by the extent of hate directed at 3 women over a somewhat bland comment, I turned my back on country music for a long time. It was so violent and disgusting culminating in that scary death threat. Only 2 country stars tried to defend them – Vince Gill and Rosanne Cash. They were banned from country stations and ostracized by a bunch of reactionary jerks. Plenty of other country stars had and have made political comments in the past, including Johnny Cash without that vile hate. Now country singers are told to “shut up and sing” or else get dixie chicked. So, I say let the Dixie Chicks release some anger over all the unnecessary crap they’ve gone through. If that’s what it takes to get them back to having some fun, then we are all better for it. (ps, Natalie’s hubbie fought their prenup and was fighting for her Dixie Chick money claiming poverty through spousal support of 45000 a month. He’s trash.)
March 5, 2020 @ 4:13 pm
To be fair, if they have a right to a view, others have a right to a non-violent reaction. If that means shunning them, so be it.
Everyone enjoys music for different reasons and if the enjoyment is curtailed because of a blunt or subtle message, what you going to do? force people to enjoy it regardless?
I would argue however, plenty artists views can be deciphered and some are more open, however some are better are pis*ing people off than others! Something to do with delivery and how lofty you appear in giving that opinion……
Lets not worry anyway, ex “country” artists doing pop seems to be the place for the bitter. Lets make it a bouncy song and turn it on its head and add some edgy messaging! brave, stunning and strong!
March 5, 2020 @ 4:19 pm
Merle Haggard, too.
March 5, 2020 @ 2:54 pm
Great song. Will do well for them.
March 5, 2020 @ 4:32 pm
Such a great song and fitting for all their suburban fans who made bad choices by going out with fake liberal men. I really like strong women defying the patriarchy by dressing in solder type uniforms with a bit of leather and boots.
Overall, I have been humbled yet again by their thought provoking artistry.
At least I know what music Taylor Swift will be doing in 15 years time.
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 5, 2020 @ 4:58 pm
Jeez I hate them. Why won’t they go away?
I was so happy when they bashed Bush, because it made their career end…..for a while anyway.☹️
March 6, 2020 @ 1:06 am
i don’t like the song and wouldn’t play it twice . its not county , i don’t get a good vibe from it , its not universal lyrically , its cryptic , its loud and makes little use of dynamics, it doesn’t showcase the ladies’ vocal strengths , its generic sonically , insignificant lyrically , self-centred , musically uninteresting and I could go on ,
as spot on as your review is , trigger , ultimately the song tell the story . and there’s really no story for this song to tell us . the sad thing is that maines has been the default focus of this outfilt forever. and she’s just not interesting …at least not anymore . there are two other ‘chicks’ here whose leanings , as I recall , are far more country-centric and hopefully the resst of the album showcases THAT.
March 6, 2020 @ 2:33 pm
The anger….that’s exactly what I felt this song was transmitting and all I could think was, why? Why be so angry, and let that control every note? I’m sure Maines has lingering feelings she needs to work out, but they weigh down the Chicks here. I am still looking forward to the album, but more from nostalgia than anything, I think.
March 8, 2020 @ 9:35 am
I’m a huge Dixie Chicks fan so I’m probably very biased but I do like how catchy the song is. I’ve been listening to it on repeat. It’s very different from anything they’re done so hopefully the rest of the album is more balanced out.
jessie with the long hair
March 8, 2020 @ 11:00 am
The Dixie Chicks didn’t write any of their big hits. They are great performers, not great songwriters. This song is sub-standard. They need to go find some hits like they did when they were having hits.
March 9, 2020 @ 12:25 pm
They should be banned for having “Dixie” in their name.
Confederate Railroad got canceled, after all. These womyn should be forced to adopt a woke moniker.
April 5, 2020 @ 6:44 am
NOPE NO CHANCE I BUY IT OR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANY COMPANY WHO SPONSORS IT THEY HAVE RIGHT OF PROTEST BUT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL MY WALLET
April 11, 2020 @ 10:08 am
The song is HORRID. The video even worse. You can actually see the bitterness on her face when she’s singing.
April 11, 2020 @ 1:06 pm
I hate Bush, and don’t give 2 shits about the comments they made, neither does anyone I know. There’s a reason even George Strait keeps his mouth shut on politics.
Politics aside, the song is utter trash, no better than the shit on radio. A textbook pop Taylor-Swiftesque breakup song, with 50s footage to give it a “retro” feel. Capitalizing on a personal tragedy like divorce. A purposefully provocative title to reignite controversy.
I’m sure most people wouldn’t care if they made good old traditional country again. But it seems Dixie chicks have decided to sail away from country. And with better artists like Luke combs, Jon pardi and Mcbryde popping up, they’ll have to step up or move out