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Mixed Reviews for Former Dixie Chick Natalie Maines' First Solo Album Release

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Natalie Maines, the outspoken former lead of country group The Dixie Chicks, released her first solo album, titled "Mother." Critical reception has been mixed but fans are eating it up. The album, produced by Maines and fellow musician Ben Harper, delves deep into a series of cover songs and a few original songs which mark Maines' return to music after a seven year hiatus. Inspired by life events and parenting, the album "just happened" per Maines. Her lead single, a cover of Pink Floyd's "Mother," is a solid addition to any music aficionado's repertoire as is most of the album. Featuring the work of industry greats Eddie Vedder, Patty Smith, Jeff Buckley, Mark Olsen, and Ben Harper, Maines has secured her comeback.

Some, like Rolling Stones' Jody Rosen, find the album "serious and at times grim," "limp," "rootsy," and "buttery." Others, like the New York Daily News' Jim Farber, declared Maines' first solo project "a masterpiece," and a "melding of technical agility and emotional awareness you can't hear without tears." Regardless of where critical option falls, most agree that it's more than great to have Maines back and have noted that she's ready for action. The thirty eight year old singer's edge is sharp and her sound is harder than ever.

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