Thursday, June 02, 2011

(Review) Stevie Nicks "In Your Dreams" ★★★★ Album Of The Week - New Zealand

I'm not sure what critics want from Stevie Nicks these days. Demned with faint praise with lines such as "archly conservative". "a pale Fleetwood Mac" and Tainted with the smear of lip-gloss California studio muses" are just some of the criticisms aimed at this disc. It's quite possible that these journalistic hacks forget the times that created the monster that became Fleetwood Mac, a group breaking apart from fragile on-road relationships, bitter artistic direction disputes and audience expectations. They also defined their - and the critics' - times and recorded Rumours, which is still on of the top 10 best selling albums of all time. Fleetwood Mac and Nicks are made from the same cloth and no amount of wishful thinking on behalf of the music made will change that, nor should it. Her solo career produced many great songs such as Stop Draggin My Heart Around, Stand Back and Nighbird, and because of that back catalogue I see this album slotting perfectly into her oeuvre.

As well as co-authoring nine of the tracks, the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart has produced this album and in doing so revealed a love of a time and sound now lost. OK, it harks back to the Byrds, Jackson Browne and The Eagles, but so what? Opening track Secret Love was actually written in 1976 about a former lover. Nicks has now conveniently forgotten his name and the theme is reflected in several other songs that dot the album: For What It's Worth, Wide Sargossa Sea, Everybody Loves You and You May Be The One all reflect fleeting romances that leave the listener with lessons learned from such a romance. One song New Orleans, shines through as a perfectly written ode to the Big Easy with a simple request that she wants to don beads, feathers and lace and sing again the French Quarter, a sentiment that reflects what America really wants from that city. Let's hear it for retro.

Colin Morris
The Dominion Post - New Zealand

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