Mother

Mother

2.7 4
by Natalie Maines
     
 

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After the double-platinum Taking the Long Way in 2006, the Dixie Chicks went on hiatus in 2007 after winning three Grammys; they had nothing left to prove. They'd successfully beat back the infamous country radio blacklisting they experienced in 2003 after Natalie Maines' comments aboutSee more details below

Overview

After the double-platinum Taking the Long Way in 2006, the Dixie Chicks went on hiatus in 2007 after winning three Grammys; they had nothing left to prove. They'd successfully beat back the infamous country radio blacklisting they experienced in 2003 after Natalie Maines' comments about president George W. Bush during the Iraq war. They re-emerged in 2010 with a string of dates with the Eagles and Keith Urban -- the same year that sisters Emily Robison's and Martie Maguire's side band, the Court Yard Hounds, released their self-titled debut. After three years of silence, it's Maines' turn. Mother was co-produced with Ben Harper; he and his band back her on a series of generally polished rock & roll covers and originals. This is a singer's record, not a songwriter's. Maines has made no secret of her preference for rock and R&B over country, and her version of rock is indulged here. The set's best moments are the most unexpected. Her reading of Eddie Vedder's "Without You" finds Maines digging into its lyric and exposing its veins. The title cut by Roger Waters is less spooky and mournful than the original, and contains a tinge of contemporary country in its mix. The set's real gems include her scorching take on Patty Griffin's unreleased "Silver Bell," which is nearly off the rails in its intensity and features blazing guitars from Harper and Jason Mozersky. The midtempo "Come Cryin to Me" was co-written by the Dixie Chicks and the Jayhawks' Gary Louris. It's a pop
ock number about devotion and unconditional love, and Maines delivers the lyric with an earthy passion and commitment. Her version of Jeff Buckley's "Lover You Should Have Come Over" stretches her throaty contralto and falsetto to the breaking point, and offers a range of expression we've seldom heard from her before. "Vein in Vain" -- is the set's only original tune and only ballad, but it exercises all of her authority as a vocalist in its confessional, broken-hearted narrative. Set closer "Take It on Faith," with Harper's stinging slide guitar and glorious multi-layered backing chorus, caps it off with a gospel-like affirmation. For all its positives, however, Mother feels a tad uneven. For one, Harper's "Trained," the set's lone attempt at R&B-rock fusion, falls flat, succeeding at neither. While Maines' singing is the glue that holds everything together, the set's overly polished production and the scattershot curation of the material makes it feel like more like just a haphazard collection of songs than a cohesive album. Maines' fans, won't mind these quibbles, however, and will likely delight in her rock & roll obsession.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Producers
MOTHER is the solo debut from Natalie Maines, the always provocative, multi-platinum, Grammy-Award winning singer of the Dixie Chicks. On MOTHER, people will hear a new direction from the singer. Heavily influenced by the more rock-based, edgy and intense sound of title track, and Pink Floyd cover, “Mother,” Maines teamed up with friend and Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and guitar wizard Ben Harper, who co-produced the record with Maines. The album was recorded in Harper’s studio.

"I wanted this music to be very different from the Dixie Chicks," she says. "Lots of albums by lead singers might just as well have been made by the band, but I think this is very different from anything the Chicks could make. That separation and distinction was important."

One of the initial songs they tackled was the soaring, tortured ballad from Pink Floyd's The Wall that ultimately gave this album its title. The result is a cover, which NPR's Ann Powers has described as "a tender acknowledgment of how fear can entrap all of us, even when we want to do nothing but love."

“Free Life” was written by Dixie Chicks collaborator and Grammy-Award winner, Dan Wilson. As different as this new music is from her Dixie Chicks roots, the songwriting credits on "Come Cryin' to Me" reveal that even her fellow Dixie Chicks Martie Maguire and Emily Robison still kept a hand in the new project. "That was a song we decided was too rock for Taking the Long Way," Maines explains, "but it really felt right to have a piece of them on here."

All of the album’s 10 songs were selected because of personal connections to Natalie. Jeff Buckley's "Lover You Should Have Come Over" was a reminder for Maines of the early days in relationship with her husband, actor Adrian Pasdar. She discovered "Without You" on her friend Eddie Vedder's ukulele album, and heard a groove that she thought might fit.

What started out as a fun session with friend Ben Harper, quickly developed into the solo debut from one of our generations most coveted voices.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/07/2013
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0888837041225
catalogNumber:
370412
Rank:
2814

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natalie Maines   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ben Harper   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Oleg Schramm   Organ
Jesse Ingalls   Bass,Keyboards
Jason Mozersky   Guitar
Kyle Crusham   Guitar,Keyboards
Aaron Sterling   Drums
Joel Pargman   Violin
Jordan Richardson   Drums,Background Vocals
Tom Loo   Cello
Jaya Harper   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Roger Waters   Composer
Jeff Buckley   Composer
Patty Griffin   Composer
Ben Harper   Composer,Producer
Gary Louris   Composer
Lloyd Maines   Engineer
Mark Olson   Composer
Eddie Vedder   Composer
Dan Wilson   Composer
Adam Steinberg   Composer
Jim Watts   Engineer
Coco Shinomiya   Creation
Ethan Allen   Engineer
Todd Burke   Engineer
Alan Forney   Creation
Natalie Maines   Composer,Producer
Martie Maguire   Composer
Jesse Ingalls   Composer
Jason Mozersky   Composer
Emily Robinson   Composer
Ryan Gilligan   Pro-Tools
Pat Manske   Engineer
Meghan Foley   Art Direction

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