The Chicks abandoned Nashville to record in a Texas living room; still, the album works not because it's so laid back, but because it resists the very sentimentality that O Brother polishes like a fossil encased in amber. The sprightly opening track, "Long Time Gone," acknowledges that old-timey traditions are indeed long gone; "White Trash Wedding" revels in bad behavior; and the closer, "Top of the World," is as complex and blue as prime John Prine. The Chicks falter midway through -- when love comes calling -- but the album's best song, "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)," is an ode not to the ideal man, but to the little guy in Superman pajamas on the couch. Deny that sentimentality its due, and it's your loss alone.
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