“When sisters Martie Seidel and Emily Erwin founded the Dixie Chicks in 1989, could they have possibly known the success that would someday be theirs? After three independent records and several lineup changes, the group was re-energized by new lead singer Natalie Maines and the support of a major label, and exploded onto the contemporary country scene with the release of Wide Open Spaces. As always, their strengths lie in their honey-sweet harmonies and superb musicianship, now topped off by the sassy power of Maines’ lead vocals” (McCartney).
“Apparently, they know how to pick songs as well, with I Can Love You Better, Wide Open Spaces, and There’s Your Trouble all breaking into the Top Ten” (McCartney) on the country charts. The latter two, along with You Were Mine, topped that chart, consequently “pushing album sales into the multi-platinum category” (McCartney).
“Wide Open Spaces is a wonderful blend of traditional elements such as banjo, fiddle, and steel guitar and contemporary attitude, most notably a strong female perspective. As far as subject matter goes, they cover all the bases by tossing in a great honky tonk/bar/broken-heart song with Tonight the Heartache’s on Me, several touching ballads, including I’ll Take Care of You, Loving Arms, and You Were Mine, and an in-your-face, unapologetic breakup anthem (Let ‘Er Rip)” (McCartney).
“When choosing tunes to cover, they tip their hat to some great, though perhaps surprising, women songwriters in Maria McKee and Bonnie Raitt with the last two tracks on the record” (McCartney).
“The charm and talent of the Dixie Chicks earned them well-deserved popularity across genre borders, and rightly so. Wide Open Spaces is a highly enjoyable listen” (McCartney).