The most impressive part of Natalie Maines solo debut, "Mother" (Columbia), is her vocal command. From a loving twist on Pink Floyd's "Mother" through a ferocious take on Patty Griffin's "Silver Bell" and into Maines' own poignant "Take It on Faith," her voice, which has warmed and deepened since the last Dixie Chicks album, never wavers.
Even in the stunning "Lover, You Should've Come Over," Maines reins in the wilder elements of Jeff Buckley's original so that each note she delivers is powerful and well-placed. Maines and co-producer Ben Harper have built "Mother" on solid musical ground, and it is set to become an instant classic.
BOTTOM LINE Eclectic interpretations from a first-rate singer