The Chicks – Gaslighter (2020) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

The Chicks – Gaslighter (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 46:54 minutes | 499 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Columbia

Natalie Maines has had it up to here and isn’t going to take it anymore. “You’re only as sick as your secrets, so I’m telling everything,” she sings on “Sleep at Night” from Gaslighter, her fifth album with The Chicks. (The band dropped “Dixie” in the midst of 2020’s global protests over racial injustices.) Coming on the heels of what was apparently a very ugly split from actor Adrian Pasdar, the album is laden with eviscerating, nakedly honest lyrics. Maines has said the band was considering releasing a covers record, just to fulfill their contract with Sony, but that her divorce “sparked me being ready [to make new music].” The story kicks off with the album’s title track, an absolute delight—bright as the Southern California noontime sun—that paints her ex as a lie-lie-lie-liar. (The narrative only gets worse from there.) From the start, producer Jack Antonoff’s fingerprints are all over the songs, mostly for good. “Sleep At Night” (“My husband’s girlfriend’s husband just called me/ how messed up is that?”) is loaded with his signature Disney-like melodies, punchy percussion and Beach Boys ohhhhhs. In other words, it sounds like a song from his band fun., in the best way. So does the super-catchy “Texas Man”—all bounce and joy with staccato percussion and appealingly weird guitar flexes. Throughout, the Chicks sound as young and fresh as anything on pop radio: The spare piano ballad “Everybody Loves You” could’ve been recorded by Demi Lovato or Halsey, while the simple, reggae-kissed “Tights on My Boat” with its acoustic guitar and hints of violin is Ed Sheeran-esque. It also addresses the much-speculated-about innuendo from “Gaslighter,” on which Maines sings, “Boy, you know exactly what you did on my boat/ and boy, that’s exactly why you ain’t coming home” Here, she lobs the line: “You can tell the girl who left her tights on my boat that she can have you now.” Is it a country record? Not particularly, and some fans might be irked that the band’s beloved harmonies are not as prominent as usual. (This is very much Natalie’s show, vocally and lyrically.) But the Chicks have always been comfortable as outsiders, and it’s hard to imagine another “country” band making a song as edgy as “March March,” which urgently references reproductive legislation, climate change and gun control. By the last three songs of the record, all ballads, Maines can see her way out of the tunnel. As strings tumble like creek water on “Young Man,” she reaches for her highest, purest register to seemingly encourage her son to “take the best parts” of his father and “leave the bad news behind”—”my blues aren’t your blues.” – Shelly Ridenour


1. The Chicks – Gaslighter
2. The Chicks – Sleep at Night
3. The Chicks – Texas Man
4. The Chicks – Everybody Loves You
5. The Chicks – For Her
6. The Chicks – March March
7. The Chicks – My Best Friend’s Weddings
8. The Chicks – Tights On My Boat
9. The Chicks – Julianna Calm Down
10. The Chicks – Young Man
11. The Chicks – Hope It’s Something Good
12. The Chicks – Set Me Free