Tuesday, August 05, 2014

REVIEWS: Stevie Nicks "The Dealer"

Stevie Nicks Delivers Emotional New Track 'The Dealer'
Fleetwood Mac singer unleashes the catharsis on the first taste of her new album, '24 Karat Gold'
By Jon Blistein

Stevie Nicks has handed out "The Dealer," the first track from her upcoming solo album, 24 Karat Gold — Songs From the Vault. The upcoming album stands as the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman's first LP since 2011's In Your Dreams.

The swinging, piano-driven cut comes complete with a lyric video and finds Nicks delivering an ode to misplaced love, owning mistakes and the catharsis that comes from reconciling the two. "I was the mistress of my fate, I was the card shark / If I'd've looked a little ahead, I would've run away," Nicks belts during chorus, her velveteen voice taking on a wizened-with-age quality that's perfectly belied by the line's winking conclusion: "If I'd really known you then / You'd've had to watch out."

Nicks initially wrote and recorded “The Dealer” with Fleetwood Mac in the late Seventies when the band was working on their 1979 album, Tusk. A leaked copy of the original demo has been floating around for some time, and as Nicks said in the press release announcing 24 Karat Gold, it was bootlegs like this that inspired her to reimagine tracks from her back catalog that never saw an official release.

Produced by Nicks, Dave Stewart and guitarist Waddy Wachtel, 24 Karat Gold will see release on October 7th via Warner Bros., though vinyl lovers will be able to pick up a limited edition double LP a week earlier starting September 29th (pre-orders begin today, August 5th). The album artwork will also feature never-before-seen Polaroids taken by Nicks from throughout her career, while the deluxe photo book CD boasts 48-pages of pictures from her private collection, as well as two bonus tracks. Nicks will also be previewing more cuts from 24 Karat Gold on her new Instagram account in the lead-up to the LP’s release.

Following 24 Karat Gold‘s release, Nicks will embark on yet another massive tour with Fleetwood Mac, this one reuniting the group with keyboardist and singer Christine McVie, who left the band in 1998. The On With the Show tour kicks off on Tuesday, September 30th in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Target Center and wraps up 34 shows later on December 20th at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa Bay, Florida.


Stevie Nicks Channels the 1970s in Her New Single, “The Dealer” 
By Eliza Berman

I get a little nervous when an artist whose older work I favor comes out with a new album. But I take heart in the fact that most of the songs on Stevie Nicks’ forthcoming album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, were written between 1969 and 1987, with a couple penned in the mid-’90s. And with “The Dealer” she delivers a track that would have been at home on 1983’s Wild Heart or even Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (1977).*

Musically speaking, “The Dealer” is something like a time capsule that Nicks could have planted decades ago—but the lyrics seem to come from a wiser woman taking stock and looking back: “It was my fault, my move, and my wine/ I see the sun now, and it still shines.” Her voice has a gravelly quality now that matches the sentiment.

Nicks has a busy fall lined up. In addition to promoting 24 Karat Gold, her first album since 2011’s In Your Dreams, she joins Fleetwood Mac for a reunion tour in September, and she has a gig as a mentor on The Voice. Don’t call it a comeback, though. As she told NPR, “You just can’t make a comeback. Comebacks are no good. You have to just keep singing. Or keep dancing.”

24 Karat Gold comes out on Oct. 7 and is available for pre-order now.


Stevie Nicks Releases 'The Dealer' From '24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault'
by Jessica Goodman

It's time to gather your shawls. Stevie Nicks released a new song, "The Dealer," from her upcoming album, "24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault." With lyrics like, "I was the mistress of my fate / I was a card shark / if I'd a looked a little ahead, I'd a run away," the song features classic Nicks themes of love and fate, fear and heartbreak. 

Huffington Post

By Eric Sundermann and Kyle Kramer

America is a country constantly in flux, and American music is an ever-shifting behemoth, always looking for the next drop. But amid the change, there are certain things that remain timeless: liberty, love, a certain hustle, a sense of destiny, and, perhaps most of all, the golden voice and songwriting talents of Stevie Nicks, American hero.

Right now, it's Tuesday afternoon in 2014, but it might as well be a sun-glazed day in the late 70s, and we might as well be riding around in cars that take too much gas in a world that looks like a Valencia filter. Stevie Nicks just released a new song, "The Dealer," on which she quite literally escapes time. It's off her new album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, which is out October 9 and of which Stevie Nicks, via her website, says: "Each song is a love story... They represent my life, the secrets, the broken hearts. These songs are the memories - the 24 karat gold rings in the blue box. These songs are for you."

Naturally, the song, like the polaroid in its accompanying lyric video, comes across like so many unearthed memories, and your tears might come spilling out like so many decades of pent-up sadness. "I was the mistress of my fate," Stevie croons sadly, knowingly, in the way that only Stevie Nicks can croon about heartbreak: "If I'd a looked a little ahead/I'd a run away." "I'll be the passion/You be the play," she adds later, poetically. "I'll just almost hold you/You'll just almost stay here." Yeah, it's beautiful. Yeah, we might as well be standing in front of a corner store that looks like a movie set listening to this float toward us as it plays out of our car's AM radio. Yeah, we love Stevie Nicks.

Noisy Music by Vice

Stevie Nicks "The Dealer" 
by Tom Breihan

The Fleetwood Mac singer and general all-around classic-rock hall-of-famer Stevie Nicks will soon release 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, a new collection of unreleased tracks, most of them written between 1969 and 1987. One of the album’s new songs is “The Dealer,” a sparkling piece of California studio-rock magic that seems like it could’ve come out at any point in the last 40 years. Check out a lyric video for the track below.


Stevie Nicks’ new song “The Dealer”
by Michelle Geslani

Our very first look at the new album comes courtesy of “The Dealer”. A charming and dusty little rocker, the song finds Nicks in true form, as though Rumours came out just yesterday.

Consequence of Sound

Stevie Nicks streams unreleased track, ‘The Dealer’
by Alex Moore

Stevie Nicks is getting ready to release a new album of unreleased songs collected over the last few decades, called “24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault.” And while it might be obnoxious for anyone else to label their own stuff “24 Karat Gold” that was deemed not good enough for inclusion on any of her records, Stevie Nicks actually means it. She’s probably forgotten more A+ songs than most artists ever write in their lifetimes. Like this new single “The Dealer,” for instance—it wouldn’t have been out of place on any of your favorite Fleetwood Mac records. 


REVIEW: Stevie Nicks releases disappointing new track, "The Dealer"
by Deirdre Kaye

Stevie Nicks' new single isn't so hot: Was it better off a bootleg?

Legendary songbird Stevie Nicks released her new single, "The Dealer," today. The track is the lead single off her upcoming album, 24 Karat Gold, and with it comes a lyric video complete with a soft-focus old photo of the singer. The song was previously recorded in 1979, while Fleetwood Mac was working on their album, Tusk. "The Dealer" didn't make the cut for that album, but a leaked demo has occasionally popped up among fans. We'd love to say Stevie Nicks can do no wrong in our eyes, but in the case of "The Dealer," we think some things might have been better left in the '70s.

Nicks was about 34 when the song was originally recorded and it seems as if she still had a bit of maturing to do with her songwriting. The concept is simple enough: Nicks is coming to terms with past transgressions and unrequited love. Heavy stuff, sure. However, the lyricism is a little immature. We can appreciate that it was written when she was considerably younger, but by mid-30 and well into her career, we expect more. With lines like, "But, you'll just almost stay here, I'll just almost hold you," the lyrics, at some points, seem more like Nicks was grasping for syllables more than good song content.

Furthermore, there's not much musical growth. In a way, it makes sense that Nicks' music would still sound so strikingly similar to everything she's released in the past. Again, this song was written long ago, as are all the other songs on the album. However, she could have used this chance to reboot them with slightly more modern music. Instead, the song still sounds exactly like it came from 1979 — you know, when it was a demo that didn't make the cut for Tusk. This, of course, will appeal to the vast majority of her longtime fans. However, it leaves us underwhelmed.

Is it the worst song ever? No. In every other way, Nicks will continue to be our golden goddess of the music world. Hopefully, the rest of 24 Karat Gold will shine light on brighter, actual gems that have long been forgotten. Just don't expect us to spend any more time with "The Dealer."


Purchase details available at Stevienicksofficial.com

Follow Stevie Nicks on Instagram for weekly song updates


Anonymous said...

--to notice or comment- the writing of the songs lyrics in the video is SN's very own handwriting all throughout the song. Clever. Very personal touch. I don't think any other artist has thought of doing that yet.

Jay said...

Wow! Great reviews for the first single!!! Take that you negative trolls! The Nashville Wrecking Crew recreated the stripped down, raw energy of the Bella Donna sound brilliantly. I'm so glad Stevie is getting great reviews!!!

Basenji02 said...

This "negative troll" is still standing by his own opinion. I never have liked every single song on a Stevie CD but I am still a HUGE fan. I am overly excited about this project but please don't attack or name call her fans that just don't care for this single.

Anonymous said...

Well it goes both ways. Whenever anyone likes something, other people who don't immediately start with things like "those who unconditionally love everything she does," etc. I love The Dealer but I also don't love everything Stevie's ever done. I personally think that all of her songs and vocals on Tango in the Night are among the worst she's ever done. I rarely ever listen to Street Angel and am pretty indifferent to about half of The Other Side of the Mirror yet Stevie will always be my all-time favorite artist. I don't have a problem with people not liking a song and stating why they don't like it but some seem to always have to take it further and make incredibly rude comments about Stevie, her fans, and/or other members of Fleetwood Mac!

Jay said...

You're right. I apologize. No more name calling.

Anonymous said...

Don't all artists that are over 65 get good reviews on whatever they do just out of respect for how long they have been performing?

Tony said...

I was underwhelmed on first coupla listens...but haven't stopped listening to it and now, a day later I really like it actually. Will it be on my Stevie playlist on my iPhone? Probably not. But I'm way too excited about the project

MplsMike said...

I think it's important to recognize criticism. Basenji02, it's perfectly fine that you express you don't like "The Dealer" as a song/lead single. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I think you'll find very few (if any) diehard fans who love every single song their favorite singer/songwriter has released. I think the backlash against "trolling" on this message board comes in response to mean comments to others. The fact is many people do not know (or at least they do not demonstrate they know) how to criticize effectively. For example, if you tell me "I don't care for 'The Dealer' because I don't think the harmonies are laid out very well, or there's too much piano..." or something else to that effect, then I think rational people can accept that as valid criticism. Unless you are bashing others or just being downright mean I certainly don't think you'd be guilty of trolling.

MplsMike said...

@ Anonymous ... Some of your comments, even though I love "Seven Wonders" and "Welcome to the Room ... Sara," are very valid. Stevie's vocals - not her voice, I actually loved the smokiness of her voice from the TITN/TOSTM era - on Tango are not good. I personally think it's because she was fresh out of Betty Ford and didn't give her voice time to recover after the RAL tour.

As a single choice, I find "The Dealer" appropriate as a lead single because it's uptempo and has some energy and a wide variety of music going on. I very much enjoyed "Secret Love," but I've always felt (and I'll offer some criticism of my own) that IYD as a whole suffered because as a lead single "SL" was very adult-contemporary sounding ... like maybe it should have been the second or third single. That's one of the reasons I was so pleased to hear "The Dealer."

Anonymous said...

I agree that the "critics" are being overly polite about THE DEALER simply to give Stevie the respect she deserves, but that's not necessarily a good thing for an artist - even at 66. Most of these "reviews" aren't really reviews, but excerpts from a press kit with a couple of glib blurbs - more like a promotion than a critical forum. I'm very disappointed only because I know she's still capable of wonderful things, as IYD proved.

THE DEALER is a good song. Stevie's vocal is just okay, and I'm not simply referring to the more limited contours of her voice, which is expected with age. She doesn't sound as crisp and alive as she did on IYD. Fair enough. The BIG problem I have with THE DEALER (which I've probably listened to 20 times now) is the lackluster production. I'll refrain from being rude about it, but jeez - it's just a middle-of-the-road mush, as if Dave is phoning it in. The pacing is slower than it should be, the mix is muddy and there's nothing special about the instrumentation. This is the guy who produced SWEET DREAMS, HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN, WOULD I LIE TO YOU and all of those amazing Eurythmics classics? Hard to believe.

I wrote months ago that I thought it would have been much more interesting to build modern arrangements around the pre-existing demos with the original vocals, so that we would get a "lost Stevie record" appearing like magic out of the mists. I was concerned that there would be lots of unflattering "before/after" comparisons between Stevie's voice then and now and that's exactly what's happening. I also don't like the cover artwork using an old photo of Stevie (old photos in the package are fine), which makes her seem frozen in amber and which seems calculated to lure in listeners on the basis of a youth she no longer possesses. It's the same ploy used for CRYSTAL VISIONS, but it worked on that project because those were old recordings. On this occasion, there's a decided Norma Desmond feel to it, as if Stevie were pointing up to the screen saying, "Isn't she wonderful? Isn't she beautiful!"

Anyway - I'm gonna buy it and listen to it and bitch about it, but I'm really holding out for the new FM record, which I'm truly excited about.

And I get it that people are super-sensitive here. If any of you ever wander over to Datalounge you'll quickly see that Nickslive/FMNews" is VERY nice and genteel compared to many other pop culture sites.

For those of you who love THE DEALER - I sincerely hope you keep on enjoying it. I too am listening over & over - but mostly for the purpose of figuring out what went wrong....

Brian said...

well i love it Stevie from a huge fan and that all that matters too me!! Thank you Stevie & Dave.

Brian said...

if u all are waiting for the 35 year old in the prime of her career then go find her. thank you stevie for new music at 66.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has an opinion...but they also have an a**h*le.

Everyone on this blog acts as if they are THE Stevie expert knowing her personally and knowing her intention.

I don' t know her but I have watched Destiny Rules and the IYD documentary and she IS very opinionated and vocal about every aspect oh her songs and gets what SHE wants.

Everything she releases IS ase WANTS it and nothing less.

The Dealer is as she wanted it to go out into the world. To say it's underproduced is stupid because only she can judge the outcome.

Fact is, everyone here complains about just about everything. This is over produced and that is under produced.

To all of you - she can never win, can she?

If I were her and reading the posts on this blog site, I'd acknowledge the contributors to this blog with two middle fingers pointed upward, each adorned with a huge diamond and a whisper of "F*ck U".

ScottD said...

@MplsMike, Thanks, I absolutely meant that I feel Stevie's vocals are weak on Tango in the Night. I love parts of Seven Wonders, but there are other parts where I can't help but think of the word "caterwauling," which I know isn't exactly complementary... I should probably give Welcome to the Room, Sara a listen again though because honestly for some reason I just haven't listened to it much. I think with that one, the music just never grabbed me. As for The Dealer, I guess I'm just not understanding why so many seem to think the production is so lacking. I would argue that all of Bella Donna and The Wild Heart have a pretty organic, no-frills sound, and this song seems like it would fit right in with those albums. Oh well, like others have said, we're all entitled to our opinions...

Anonymous said...

While I enjoy "The Dealer" does anyone else think the production sounds a bit muddy? The instrumentation doesn't seem very "sharp" in the chorus' especially. Overall I'd give the song a B or B+, but the music is definitely blurry in some places. Maybe if I listened to it on huge speakers like Stevie and Dave recorded it it would make a difference, but on my Beats it's just so-so

Jay said...

Well, since our therapy session is going so well, I'd like to add (constructively, I hope) that it's entirely possible that whoever chooses singles for Stevie's albums since Trouble In Shangri-La might be slipping a bit. TISL didn't produce a hit single even though the album was great and sold well. On the other hand, the dance mix for Planets reached #1! I thought Secret Love was a perfect candidate for a club mix, which might have bolstered the singles sales as well as album sales... but that never happened. Also, Cheaper Than Free and For What It's Worth didn't feel single worthy to me considering how awesome In Your Dreams (the song) and how gorgeous Italian Summer are.

So my point is, sadly, don't give up so soon on the new album! The best songs will be the neglected ones...

Anyway, your line about how you're gonna "buy it, listen to it, and bitch about it" screams pure Stevie fan! I love it! I hope you drop the anonymous postings and make up a name we can identify you with so in the future we can all be excited, depressed, and bitchy together ;)

Jay said...

I absolutely love you

Jay said...

No, I think it's 57. All artists over the the age of 57 years, 12 days, and 42 seconds get automatic universal acclaim :)))

Anonymous said...

I love you, too. I've wanted to get that off my chest for a while but didn't think the mediator would post it. It got to the point where it was therapy for me to write it, even if no one got to read it.

Amy Condit said...

I've been trying to find out the back-story behind "The Dealer". Does anyone know who it is about?
Many thanks to everyone here, especially for the person responsible for this wonderful site. :)

MplsMike said...

I personally love "The Dealer," but I also think it's unfair to blast someone who offers an intellectual criticism on something. As long as someone isn't being mean-spirited they shouldn't be harpooned.

I agree I think the production on the "The Dealer" is as its supposed to be; I like the funkiness of it. I'm so looking forward to this album ... and I'm almost looking forward to the 48-page photo book as much as the album.

Anonymous said...

No...it sounds clear. Your overpriced Beats is designed by a hip hop/urban artist to make hip hop/ urban music sound better. Try exchanging your Beats for Koss, Bose or Harman Kardon.

Anonymous said...

The the review that the woman From SHE TALKS - she is complaining about her digging things up from past etc, when this woman's fav show and past time is watching the WEST WING! ha, lame reviewer! Lets see whats in your wallet!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is listening to music on BEATS headphones should google how terrible of product these are! CASHCOW - Cheap to make, cheap to hear!

Anonymous said...

Jay -

You are very sweet and so I'm going to be real about who I am (I'm the guy who's going to buy it and bitch about it).

My name is John and I live in Hollywood, California. I have been a Fleetwood Mac fan since I was about 12 or 13. I'm 48 so you do the math.

I suggest people listen to THE DEALER and then listen to SAD ANGEL.

So much of what I'm not liking about THE DEALER isn't so much Stevie's singing as it is the way she's been RECORDED. It's very unflattering. It's exposing her weaknesses and limitations and not showing off her power and strength.

IYD proved Stevie still has a great studio voice. The production on THE DEALER????

Play SAD ANGEL and let's talk....

Jay said...

First of all, I kinda don't get why everyone posts under the "anonymous" option when you can simply post "name/URL", throw a name in there, and leave the URL part blank. Makes conversations SO much easier. But anyway, I'm blue in the face and everyone remains anonymous so, so be it...

Second, I wasn't kidding when I sensed that you were a true fan with some criticism. I wasn't being sarcastic at all...

And I just did my math and see that you became a fan in 1978 probably when Rumours was destroying all the competition on the charts right in the middle of the disco era :)

Interestingly, I was 12 as well when Stand Back was released and I absolutely fell in love with Stevie as an artist...

Anyway, nice to meet you Stevie fan John!!!

I just listened to Sad Angel again, and then The Dealer... My conclusion is that they are very different approaches to a song. Think about Lindsey's song Go Insane from his solo album versus the same song live on The Dance. Very different. It actually takes on a completely different dimension. The original is about going nuts surrounded by frantic music. The live version is an older, wiser man in an acoustical setting saying the same thing... but as a survivor.

I don't doubt for one second that Stevie could have given us The Dealer as a foot stomping head banging blast of great rock and roll, I just think she chose a more reflective approach with minimal accompaniment.

Anonymous said...

I agree. We got The Dealer as She wanted us to get it - nothing more , nothing less.

She wouldn't release anything that wasn't right and how she wants us to receive it.

I base this on the documentaries of how involved she us in all aspects of the writing, recording and mixing process and ROCK A LITTLE (the original) which she scrapped because she wasn't happy with it, spent an additional million bucks to re-record the entire album and released the version she liked and she wanted the fans to have.

We should be happy she is releasing a new album instead of dissecting the work to death.

If you're unhappy with The Dealer, between you and Stevie, that makes one of you.

If you don't like The Dealer, don't listen to it.

There will be some songs on the album you will like. Don't worry...be happy and spare us the continual bitching.

Anonymous said...

Very pedestrian writing. If this wasn't Stevie Nicks the Rock Goddess, it would be dismissed as a very forgettable piece of songwriting.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I say bullshit to the idea that any good reviews are because of who Stevie is! Just because you don't like it and find it "pedestrian" and "forgettable" doesn't mean that everyone does!

Unknown said...

I think this recent take on "The Dealer" is much better than any demo I've heard over the net. Even compared to her voice of >30 years ago. Now I can't imagine how the Stevie of today could improve the original Blue Water. I will just have to wait. Anyway the best part of the new "Dealer" is the band or I should say the music. It rocks. I bought it and I find mysef playing it a lot in the car. Everyone who has heard it by incidence expresses the same sentiment. Wow- where did you find that. Is it new or something. It's rocking. What a relief to have a good 70s rock song again. Go Stevie. Great work so far. I'm still disappointed in track list but maybe you will really surprise all of us die hards. I guess your still saving all the treasures for later. Your gonna keep the mega millions rolling in forever!!!!

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