Natalie Maines, best known as the vocal centerpiece of the Dixie Chicks, makes her long-awaited musical return with Mother (May 7, Columbia), her decidedly non-country solo debut produced by Ben Harper. The rootsy, no-twang album is Maines' first full-length studio recording project since the last Chicks album in '06 and is a daring, dramatic change from her country and new-acoustic past. But this is, after all, the woman who once remarked, "Growing up, when people asked, 'What kind of music do you listen to?,' I'd say, 'Anything but country'. A collection of mostly covers (Eddie Vedder, Jayhawks, Patty Griffin, Jeff Buckley), Mother's goose-bump enducing title track is not only a Pink Floyd classic it also speaks to Maines' decision to forego her music career to raise her two sons and stay out of the celebrity spotlight (until now). The most telling track, however, is "Take It On Faith", the LP's lone Maines original and a masterwork of understated grace and, in the end, power as she and her Harper-led band slowly build the six-minute track to a stunning, widescreen effect.