'Long' Is The New Short

The Dixie Chicks re-emerge this week with the most personal album of their career. The Open Wide/Columbia set "Taking the Long Way" opens with "Not Ready To Make Nice," which addresses the controversy

The Dixie Chicks re-emerge this week with the most personal album of their career. The Open Wide/Columbia set "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, feature such lines as "Forgive, sounds good / Forget, I'm not sure I could / They say time heals everything / But I'm still waiting."

"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," "Silent House" and "Lubbock or Leave It."