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After the roaring success of Wide Open Spaces--a blend of turn-of-the-century pop and country traditionalism--what do you do for an encore? Rather than deliver more of the same, the Chicks have chosen instead to up the ante in country radio with a follow-up that's both poppier and twangier than its predecessor, and just plain better too. Some of it we've heard before: "Hello Mr. Heartache," for example, adheres pretty closely to the honky-tonk model of "Tonight the Heartache's On Me." Mostly, though, the record lights out for new territories. "Without You" is driven by an in-your-face string arrangement that's downright fierce, and the rootsy "Sin Wagon" may rock harder--and with more solos--than any mainstream country since Buck Owens held forth. That's not to say Fly's perfect. A couple of songs miss the mark, particularly "Goodbye Earl," an abusive-husband murder song that's sure to get criticized (wrongly) for being anti-male but actually fails because it can't decide if it's a moral lesson, a horror movie, or a joke. Still, even in this failure, the Chicks are bravely pushing the envelope. If they push hard enough, maybe Young Country radio will open up some wider spaces. --David Cantwell

Customer Reviews:

  • Fly by the Dixie Chicks
    I love this CD. I listen to it all the time. Thank you Dixie Chicks another great CD....more info
  • The Chicks begin to gel
    (4.5/5 stars)In my mind, I look at the four major-label releases by the Chicks as four parts of one body of work: this release is the developmental stage, with more maturity and the forging of an identity. After "Wide Open Spaces," "Fly" keeps the good times and optimism rolling and remains in the same lineage, yet they seem to gel a little more as a band, developing their own brand. The songs fit their group persona a little better than those on "Wide Open Spaces:" a little more mischievous, a little more independent and free spirited. Most of them are love songs or songs about relationships. Every song here is solid and fits exactly into place, though those most effective for me are "If I Fall You're Going Down With Me," "Cowboy Take Me Away," "Goodbye Earl," "Sin Wagon," "Without You" and "Let Him Fly." This release is fun, vivacious, poignant and worth listening to repeatedly, all of which make it a CD worth purchasing. (I'm certain I'm not the first person to notice that the thirteenth track is actually the leading space to track fourteen, most definitely a superstitious precaution to break the sophomore curse) The Dixie Chicks became a genuine force with this release.

    ...more info
  • Love it
    This cd is my very first experience with country music. I love this CD. Songs are very catchy, nice to listen to while going on a long walk. ...more info
  • Dixie Chicks Rule Alicia Jiles Is An Idiot!
    Alicia Jiles, this is for you

    First of all, keep my name out of your reviews. That goes for you and anybody else who has a problem with anything I write. I'll express my opinions from now until I d-i-e, and if you don't like it, log off and go read a Michael Moore book.
    -Well if you won't do what anyone else says, than why the f*** should I do what you say. If I want to put your name in my reviews I f***** well will thank you very much.
    Yeah that's right spend the rest of your miserable life expressing your stupid opinions. Hey jacka**, how about telling someone who cares?

    Second, Alicia Jiles thinks S. Moore is dumber than a box of rocks for thinking record sales have anything to do with GOOD MUSIC.
    -How about this. Just because you don't like the Dixie Chicks doesn't mean their bad. Oh, and why would people buy it if it was bad music? Ye pigf***!

    Third, I don't care how the Dixie Chicks feel about B-u-s-h. He's done a horrible job. He deserves criticism. But what irritates me about the Chicks are their tactics. Their obvious exploitation of this whole controversy irks me and forces me to be spiteful to them. It would be different if they weren't singing all the way to the bank while pretending to be so caring and compassionate about others who aren't as fortunate as they. I'm sick of their whole "Joan of Arc" persecution, martyrdom attitude. They're not heroes.
    -Well S Moore thinks your dumber than a box of rocks for wasting time writng dumb reviews on bands that you don't like. Why are you giving the Dixie Chicks bad reviews when you only dislike them? Why don't you actually go and listen to their music before you start writing stupid reviews? How about sticking to your own s***?. Why are you talking about who is and who's not a hero when you couldn't be anything like a hero if your whole pointless life depended on it?

    This is a very good album and you should buy it. Don't listen to this clown....more info
  • Talent vs Trash
    ... These Dixie Chicks use their enormous talents to capture our attention, get us sing along and stand to applaud and salute their musical talent. It is also quite a wonderful feeling to see three really top professionals with such marvelous poise deliver their music to us, without a million dollars worth of pyrotechnics and special effects. I think many of the pop performers that use so much in the background do it to overwhelm and cover their lack of talent. These three ladies don't need the fluff cause they have the real stuff. And they are over thirty !! Imagine !...more info
  • FUN! Entertaining
    I love the Dixie Chicks and this was the one CD I didn't already own by them. Like always this album is a listen all the way through album! ...more info
  • Pleasantly Pleased....
    I don't listen to much country...but, I did enjoy listening to the 'Chicks', & I do recommend it....enjoy!!...more info
  • Amazing.
    This is the first CD I bought of the dixie chicks, and nothing compares to this album. It's amazing and I love every song. My favorite song on this album is "Fly", the lyrics are wonderful. This CD is a great cd to sing to in the car....more info
  • Doesn't 'Fly' Quite That High
    I have to say, I was pretty dissapointed with this CD. First, I had gotten the "Home" CD and REALLY REALLY liked it. I then decided to get this CD. I wasn't too excited with it. My favorite songs are: Cowboy Take Me Away, Some Days You Gotta Dance, If I Fall You're Going Down With Me, and Ready To Run. The rest of the songs are OK, good at best. I recommend this CD for the songs that I mentioned as being my favorites, but the rest I can pretty much skip over. I recommend the "Home" CD over this CD, but this is still worth a listen. Hey, who knows, you might like it! (Don't knock it til you've tried it!) Me? It just didn't catch on as much as the "Home" CD did. Maybe "Wide Open Spaces" will impress me more when I buy it! ENJOY!...more info
  • I've liked them for years...
    but never bought anything by the Dixie Chicks. Now I'm getting all of them. Why? Because they're three talented women whose only crime is that one of them dared to speak her mind. People who are victimizing this group and their fans because of her opinion are asinine. So it's okay for Charlie Daniels to be outspoken about his opinions but not Natalie Maines? Give me a break. This latest mess has made me re-listen to all their music and realize how talented the Dixie Chicks are. People I know who don't even like country music have been buying their CDs to support them and their right to freedom of speech. Thank you, Natalie Maines, for defending your right to speak out!
    besides all of this, "Goodbye Earl" is the best angry woman song ever written....more info
  • Excellent follow up from the Chicks
    This is a great sophmore effort. This album is a bit harder and edgier than the first one, and the Chicks pull it off well. Country with a broader appeal. Good tunes are many:

    Ready to Run

    If I Fall - great faster number with cool scraping fiddles

    Earl - a great rhythm and lyrics. Is about a woman and her friend "disposing" of a violent brute of a husband. Of course the song does not advocate premeditated murder. Get a grip. It's just a revenge fantasy

    Hello Mr. Heartache - a good traditional-flavored number

    Sin Wagon - fast, bluegrassy tune. Funny lyrics like "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition" and "mattress dancing"

    Some Days You Gotta Dance - dancy number, like its lyrics and title

    Hole in My Head - heavy, grinding instrumentation. Cool effect....more info
  • Those chicks are so fly
    A real challenge for the Dixie Chicks was to come up with a second album that wasn't going to be just Even Wider and More Opener Spaces. Fly fulfills that promise with fourteen new tracks, many of them still have the same Wide Open Spaces flavour, but nothing repetitive.

    "Ready To Run" was featured in Runaway Bride, and has a distinctive Celtic flute or whistle intro. It's more pop than country, and this is what initially made me describe it as less country than Wide Open Spaces.

    The pace picks up with "If I Fall You're Going Down With Me", which belongs smack in Wide Open Spaces.

    "Cowboy Take Me Away" is a mid-paced number with fiddle and steel guitar and there's the theme of "Fly", in the lyrics "Fly this girl as high as you can into the blue."

    "Cold Day In July" is a melancholy song in the fashion of "You Were Mine". The title refers to "You always said the day you would leave me would be a cold day in July." Well, guess what happens? The chorus has poignant lines: "Head in my hands here I am/Standing in my bare feet/Watching you drive away." Another good lyric: "The moon is full and my arms are empty."

    Only the Chicks could come up with a rhythmic bouncy tune about domestic violence and revenge. "Goodbye Earl" is about a Wanda, who's the victim of domestic violence, and despite a divorce and restraining order, finds herself in intensive care by her ex-husband Earl. Solution: Earl has to die, and she and her friend Mary Anne do just that. Serves him right!

    "Hello Mr. Heartache" is something one would expect to hear on a preview for Austin City Limits with that steel guitar. This song of resignation about heartache personified has some sharp lyrics: "Come in and wear your welcome out" and "I wish that I could say it's nice/To see you back again/We're not exactly strangers/But we're not exactly friends."

    "Don't Waste Your Heart" advises a prospective suitor not to spend time "on a wild thing/She's got a soul that won't settle on one thing."

    The adrenaline-racing track, complete with harmonica and banjo is "Sin Wagon" a song about sowing one's oats is characterized by the phrase "mattress dancin'/That's right, I said mattress dancin'" and where the girl's like "Delilah looking for Samson." Calling beer "twelve ounce nutrition"--I like that.

    "Without You" is another ballad on love and fidelity. Key lyric: "My heart's stuck in second place without you." Strings come in during the second part of the song. Also worth listening for Natalie stretching out "live" to a high note in "'cause baby I can't live."

    Another upbeat number is "Hole In My Head", about how a girl needs a certain boy like a she needs... well,... but what a boy, as she sings: "You make me feel so bad that I wish I was dead."

    The alienation in "Heartbreak Town" sounds like Farmpit, NM to me, of "square people in a world that's round."

    "Some Days You Gotta Dance" would be appropriate for a Western bar on Friday night. The message is obvious.

    The Chicks are also triskaidekaphobic, as Song 13 is just a five second chord introducing the final track, "Let Him Fly", the only unremarkable track.

    This album has the Chicks more upbeat and looser, if the goofy photos in the CD sleeve is anything to go by. A brilliant second effort....more info

  • FLY On
    The thing about the Dixie Chicks is that though they are marketed as a country band, their sounds suggests a lot of different influences. Their 1999 album FLY is a case in point.

    After having proven that they had the goods with 1998's WIDE OPEN SPACES, the Chicks--Natalie Maines; Emily Robison; and Martie Seidel--sought to boost their sound with a continued emphasis on traditional country instrumentation, but also a pronounced 1970s rock and roll attitude thrown in for good measure. Judging from the sales of FLY, over ten million and going nowhere but up, they accomplished their goals and then some. Their diversity ranges from the Irish/Celtic influences of "Ready To Run", to the strings-and-Dobro arrangement on "Without You", the jet-black humor of the largely misunderstood "Goodbye Earl", and the pile-driving "Sin Wagon."

    Natalie's voice shows the influences of a lot of different female artists, especially with that growl she uses on "Sin Wagon", which suggests the influence of Pat Benatar and Linda Ronstadt. Martie and Emily are not only great harmony singers in their own right but also among the most adroit instrumentalists anywhere in American pop music these days. Martie's sizzling fiddle work on "Ready To Run" and "Sin Wagon" is particularly impressive. And Emily is no slouch either, with her sympathetic Dobro playing on "Without You" and her ferocious banjo work on "Sin Wagon." All of this comes together on FLY.

    Regardless of Natalie's recent "Bushwhacking" comments in London or the misread black humor of this album's "Goodbye Earl", the Dixie Chicks have the greatest amount of staying power of any country outfit around because their audience goes way beyond the confines of country music. Their sound encompasses honky-tonk, hard rock, bluegrass, and 1970s folk-rock, but it never sounds like a meandering jumble. They are the real deal, and look to stay that way. Strongly recommended!...more info

  • This band really stinks!
    The vocals are like fingernails on chalkboards!
    The band really needs to find a new day job.
    Country music they are not. I'm not sure what you would call this pan clanging they refer to as music. Their publicity stunts turn my stomach.They get a big thumbs down! As a parent, I would never allow my children to own music from such poor role models....more info
  • FLY
    I sent this cd to a friend because I have it and enjoyed it so much. The talent the Dixie Chicks has shows in their music and I will continue to buy all they produce. It is a great cd!...more info
  • Disappointing mainstream pop
    Loving country, bluegrass, chicken pickin' etc. and having seen a charming documentary about charming Dixie Chicks I bought Fly with enthusiasm.
    Sorry to say it left me disappointed. Mainstream pop country flavour and the "ooooh oooooh baby" repeated ad nauseam left me cold. And the lead song too much resembles a chainsaw never idling. Too many times I caught myself thinking "please stop screaming little girl we know you are there".
    A single with Sin Wagon and Hole In My Head as B side would have been a winner....more info
  • The CD that made the Chicks legends
    What started with "Wide Open Spaces" was cemented with "Fly." Country music lovers who may have felt the Dixie Chicks were a flash in the pan were proven wrong when each song from "Fly" is full of energy, gritt and country goodness. You'll listen to this CD over and over, guaranteed....more info
  • I LOVE this album.
    It has fun, smart and overall great songwriting and Natalie has some of the best vocals in music. Personal favorite: Sin Wagon. Sometimes you just need to feel like putting on some funky boots and doing a little hell-raising. Also, Cowboy Take Me Away, Some Days You Gotta Dance, ... ok pretty much everything on this album rocks. I know 10 years from now I'll still listen to this music, and that is more than I can say for pretty much every major "artist" of the last 5 years....more info
  • Well named album, the music soars
    On my first listening, I didn't think Fly was as good as Wide Open Spaces and Home, but now I can't figure why I thought that. These Chicks do everything well. There are a few songs that aren't my favorites (Hello, Mr. Heartache, Don't Waste Your Heart..., Sin Wagon, Hole in My Head), but they are well sung and played and still worth listening to. The rest of the songs are outstanding. The Dixie Chicks are incredibly talented singers and players, and they have excellent players on the album. The first two tracks, Ready to Run and If I Fall feature some of the best of the Erwin sisters' harmony, and the blend of voices and instruments is really fun. Cowboy Take Me Away should prove to be a classic. I am thinking that maybe Martie is the best of the Chicks at writing, since she collaborated on Ready and Cowboy. I don't find Earl (the song, not the guy) offensive having watched the version on the DVD -- everyone has a good time, and the Chicks "never get tired of killing this guy." I know Sin Wagon is a live standard, but I find it a little dull. Without You, Heartbreak Town, and Let Him Fly (another Patty Griffin offering to go with Truth #2 and Top of the World on Home) are really evocative stories, and Some Days You Gotta Dance is pure fun. This is great entertainment, and repeated listenings wear well. If you like Wide Open Spaces and Home, you will certainly like Fly....more info
  • Are you ready, ready, ready... ready to...

    The follow up to the Dixie Chicks wildly successful "Wide Open Spaces," "Fly" swooped in and swept me away, easily becoming my all-time favorite Chicks album.

    Off the gun, the Chicks get popping with "Ready to Run" and continue firing with the strength of "If I fall You're Going Down With Me." Slowing up the pace with yet another hit "Cowboy Take Me Away," the Chicks show their range, mesmerizing listeners with their wistful storytelling.

    In a purely whimsical vein "Goodbye Earl" is a comic romp and a cautionary tale to all who would cross the Chicks. My advice: If you're evil, cook your own meals.

    Rounding out the "Fly" hit parade is "Without You," a soulful, sad memorial to the end of yet another relationship.

    Across this entire album, listeners are never far from a country hit. If you are looking for an introduction to great modern country, start here. "Fly" is the Dixie Chicks firing on all cylinders.

    ...more info
  • One of the worst I've ever heard
    They started out good but went straight down hill!!! This is one of the worst groups I know of. Don't buy their album, don't give them any of your money....more info
  • The best Dixie Chicks album by far!!!!!
    The album FLY is an awesome album!! It is hands down the best Dixie Chicks album by far. Every song on there is good and worth listening to. "Cowboy Take Me Away" is my personal favorite, but every somng is great. I have all their albums and none can compare. It has just the right mix of ballads and upbeat music! Totally great!!...more info
  • A Fun Country Album for Everyone
    Jean Smith is clearly a fool who bases her recent review on factors other than the quality of an artists music. It is people who draw these kinds of conclusions that are really the poor roll models, and not the artists. Shame on you for judging their politics and not their music....more info
  • They are just not that good.
    Maybe it is because I am not a huge country fan. This music has crossed over to hit radio and I just don't hear it. It isn't GREAT country music. It is so-so country music. There are better artists and better albums. This is country-music lite, for people who can't handle the taste of the real thing and want something bland......more info
  • spirit, spunk, and a little heart
    This is a fun, playful mix of songs, but they didn't forget to put their hearts in it, either. Love to hear Natalie belt out those in your face tunes, like Sin Wagon, but there are a few soft ones in there, as well. I love every song on this cd....more info
  • This album is GREAT!
    This is a great CD. Lots of fun songs, as well as softer more moving melodies!!!! The Dixie Chicks are talented musicians!!...more info
  • made me a Chicks fan
    I don't really listen to country at all, but this is one of my favorite cds. I listen to bands like New Found Glory, Blink 182, Incubus, and Korn, but after hearing this album I became a Dixie Chicks fan for life. I now own and love all of their albums. So, even if you don't like country you should still check this cd out, you won't be disapointed....more info