Natalie Maines

Mother - Columbia 3013

Tracks: 1. Without You / 2. Mother / 3. Free Life / 4. Silver Bell / 5. Lover, You Should've Come Over / 6. Vein In Vain / 7. Trained / 8. Come Cryin' To Me / 9. I'd Run Away / 10. Take It On Faith


Aside from Natalie Maines' very distinctive voice, there are few similarities with the music she usually stands for with her group The Dixie Chicks.

The Dixie Chicks, however, were already on their latest album "Taking the Long Way" well on their way away from the very country-based music, and on this basis, one could perhaps expect Maines on a solo album to take a step further away from this genre.

Most of the music on "Mother" is certainly classic pop-rock performed with great professionalism. On many tracks the album, however, does not lift itself much from the predictable, and only on the best songs is Maines as a soloist reaching the level from "Taking the Long Way", which to me is The Dixie Chicks' clearly best album.

The title track "Mother", written by Rogers Waters, is a standout. Definitely a worthy interpretation of this fine Pink Floyd song from "The Wall". Dan Wilson, who played a big part in "Taking the Long Way", contributes here with "Free Life", a fine song which well could have suited a Dixie Chicks album.

One single track is actually a Dixie Chicks song, namely "Come Cryin 'to Me" which was originally written for "Taking the Long Way"; a song that has a lot in common with early Sheryl Crow songs such as "If it Makes You Happy". The final song "Take it on Faith", which Maines also was a co-writer to, is a fine finale and another song which easily could be given a Dixie Chicks arrangemet.

A solid version of Eddie Vedder's "Without You", also belongs to the good half of the album. The rest of the songs to me never go beyond the predictable and somewhat boring. Though an album with several highlights, I would like to hear Maines join the other Dixie Chicks on a new album.

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