The Dixie Chicks have a new album coming out in May, Taking the Long Way. It is their first album since the pre-war unpleasantness. They have released the first single, which addresses that controversy. It's called "Not Ready to Make Nice."
Full disclosure/brag: I'm proud to have been the first person to cuss Natalie Maines out on the internet when the story of her infamous London remarks surfaced. Oh how I hate Natalie Maines, though I can't stop looking at all these Dixie Chicks pictures. In short, me and Natalie have history. It's a thing, you know. Natalie - I ain't mad atcha. Just call me.
But to get to the point, this song really sucks. Now obviously, I'm going to have some thoughts on the autobiographical lyrics but we'll get back to that. Let's start with parsing this out as a song.
"Not Ready to Make Nice" is the biggest bunch of whining, self-pitying shitlickin' I've heard on a record in a good while. The lyrics are only part of that effect, though. The whole expression of cheap calculated, homogenized self-righteous self-compassion is particularly unappetizing.
"Not Ready to Make Nice" is basically a third-rate Faith Hill song. It's the worst end of that whiny victim crap, only she's a tough old broad who'll stand up and fight back, thus the title.
The title almost has a musical hook, but it's just so bland and generic in every possible market-calculated way as to defy description. It's like a response crafted by a PR firm - only not a very good one. It doesn't go anywhere. The climactic bit of tune supposed to carry "or my life'll be over" was particularly totally flat and bland.
This is musically regressive even for the previously mediocre at best Dixie Chicks. This song, though, is less melodically memorable, and even less country than their previous records. Rick Rubin produced this, so advocates want to basically transfer a bit of Johnny Cash karma on to the Chicks. Rubin produced his exemplary final albums, and really brought Johnny back.