Having broken through to international acclaim with their fourth studio album (first with Natalie Maines as vocalist) Wide Open Space in 1998, the trio now named The Chicks disappeared in 2006 following their eighth studio, Taking The Long Way. At the time they had found their outspoken political stance against decisions made by the US Government of the time saw them pretty much blacklisted by US Country Radio. However, as they say, you don't always know what you've got till it's gone and despite a solo record by Natalie and two albums as Court Yard Hounds by the siblings of the trio, Emily and Martie, fans were hungry for more.
Fourteen years later and it has finally arrived. The ninth studio album by the trio is very aptly titled Gaslighter. Not only have they returned re-energized and ready to conquer, but their new record is one that does not hold back on sharing their thoughts. From the personal to the political, Gaslighter is opinionated and outspoken, but in all the right ways.
Gaslighter opens with the title track and starts as it means to go on. This is a fierce letter to an ex who simply didn't know how bad their behaviour really was. This is the tone of the record. These are three strong-minded, strong-willed women who will not be held back.
It is in these pure personal moments that the album finds its core strength. Gaslighter is an obvious highlight, but it is joined by the stunning For Her and and heart-wrenching Everybody Loves You.
With a huge fanfare having been played for their revival, The Chicks do not disappoint. As with their earlier releases, they stay loyal to a trad Country sound but cleverly interlace it with their pop leanings.