Picks and Pans Review: Fly

updated 09/06/1999 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/06/1999 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Dixie Chicks (Monument)

Album of the week

Three cute, cookie-cutter blondes, the Dixie Chicks look like poster girls for the new, pop-flavored Nashville sound. Now the release of this second album while their 1997 debut, Wide Open Spaces, still hovers near the top of the country charts, prompts speculation that the glam trio is aiming at a Shania-like crossover success. Happily, it ain't so. Just as full of down-home Texas twang as their first, Fly is a sophomore album that soars along on Martie Seidel's fiddling and sister Emily Robison's (née Erwin) banjo picking. But it is honky-tonk angel Natalie Maines whose lead vocals give the Dixie Chicks sound its saloon-door swing. Among the highlights here is "Cowboy Take Me Away," a tune Seidel cowrote and the Chicks sang at Emily's May wedding to singer Charlie Robison.

Bottom Line: Neither pop nor corn, just deep-fried country with lots of snap

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