Set executive produced by Rick Rubin.
The Dixie Chicks will re-emerge late this spring with the most personal album of their career. Due May 23 via Open Wide/Columbia, "Taking the Long Way" opens with "Not Ready To Make Nice," which addresses the controversy that ensued in March 2003 after singer Natalie Maines criticized President George W. Bush. Afterward, a number of country stations refused to play the group's music.
Lyrics for the track, which was co-penned by the Chicks with former Semisonic leader Dan Wilson, are available at DixieChicks.com . "Forgive, sounds good / Forget, I'm not sure I could / They say time heals everything / But I'm still waiting," Maines sings.
"Taking the Long Way" was executive produced by Rick Rubin and finds the Chicks backed by such musicians as Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Heartbreakers members Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell and veteran session multi-instrumentalist Larry Knechtel. In addition to Wilson, who collaborated on six tracks, Pete Yorn and the Jayhawks' Gary Louris contributed to the songwriting.
"Everything felt more personal this time," Maines says. "I go back to songs we've done in the past and there's just more maturity, depth, intelligence on these. They just feel more grown-up."
Among the album's selections are "I Hope," a co-write with blues artist Keb' Mo' that served as a charity download for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, "Everybody Knows" and "Lubbock or Leave It."
"Taking the Long Way" is the Chicks' first studio album since 2002's "Home," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold more than 5.8 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The group is expected to launch an all-arena trek  in June, with details to be announced.