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In Your Dreams - Stevie Nicks review
I've been a huge Stevie Nicks fan for a really, really long time. It's a childhood thing that's followed me. She is one of my favorite poets, and may or may not be a noticable influence on my own writings (hopefully though, quite noticable!). I've heard every album she's been involved in, from BuckinghamNicks to Fleetwood Mac, on to solo albums, duos, and her unofficial status as one of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers. So much excelelnt music...some really, really bad music in there as well, but always bad in a laughable, lovable sense...like, "OMG that is such an 80s pop song!" bad.
In Your Dreams is not a bad album. It has some beautiful mixes with violins and guitars...lots of piano, and a whole lotta Stevie. Naturally, you say? Why wouldn't there be Stevie in a Stevie solo album? Well...have you ever listened to Trouble in Shangri-la? A good album too, sure, but...there was more Sheryl Crow than Stevie there...more of everyone else too. But that's a whole different review. Maybe I'll do it eventually. In Your Dreams is definitely all about Stevie Nicks, and the writing of Stevie Nicks - plus the wonderful production skills of David Stewart (male half of Eurythmics). Most of the writing is top notch. The first single, "Secret Love", is Stevie-gold, as is "For What it's Worth" and "Everybody Loves You". Unfortunately, the song that Stevie expressed the most pride for, the most love, is...the worst. I feel so unpatriotic saying that, but, "Solidier's Angel" suffers from a plodding melody, sub-par lyrics, and the limited vocal range of Steveie at this point. Lindsey Buckingham lent his support on the song, helping with the music and backing vocals, which makes it even more disappointing than it probably would've been had it been anyone else - because Lindsey's awesome, and usually such a perfectionist about the sound of songs. I can hear where the song could be a good song...it just didn't happen here. Maybe it'll be better live? I hope so. It needs some life. And I hope that whenever I do get to see it live, I get to be surprised by the chance appearance of Lindsey on the stage to help sing it...that would be dreamy...
Actually, a few of the songs needed some life blown into them. As excited as I was when I first got the album, playing it over and over again in the car on my half-hour drive too and from work all week...I waited until that initial lust wore off, and then still kept listening. I was reminded of Street Angel, from 1994, and how sleepy a lot of those songs were. They are here too, after the glitter fades, after the excitement settles and you start paying more attention to the actual songs and less to the fact that it's Stevie Nicks singing new songs. There are no true rock songs here, no matter how many times Stevie likes to say there are in interviews (silly girl). No...there's no "Edge of Seventeen", "Stand Back", "Rooms on Fire", "You Can Talk to me"...and on and on...There is one song that wants to be one of those classic high-kick Stevie rock songs, and that is "Ghosts Are Gone". Twenty years ago, it just might've done it. As I listen to it, I think of those songs of the past, and I think of how it coulda, woulda, shoulda sounded...back in the day...and that is now the version I sing out loud over it. It's another one that I hope, and imagine, will be revamped at concerts. Seriously, there was a lot less Waddy Wachtel than I hoped for there - Waddy being Stevie's number one guitarist in her solo career, and the man behind those classic riffs on "Edge of Seventeen" (you can see him at just about every concert since 1981, and he even played on BuckinghamNicks, and a few sessions with Fleetwood Mac). "Wild Sargasso Sea" is another song that probably would've ended up more rockin' around, say...the time of Other Side of the Mirror (1989). I pick that album specifically, because it deals with the girl burning the guys house down, and...well, fire seemed to be a theme on that album - "Rooms on Fire" & "Fire Burning". It's a song that grew on me though. The lyrics are wonderful, based on the 1966 novel, but the melody for it doesn't really pick up until the end. A song for all Twilight fans out there is "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)", which was in fact inspired by the movies. I liked it against my will, as un-Twilight-friendly as I am, and I blame it all on Stevie's gorgeous lyrical style. "New Orleans" is a song I started out laughing at before I listened to it. I was skimming the lyrics in the booklet - because Stevie's always been awesome about printing out all the lyrics in her albums! - and saw one that said "I wanna wear beads" and found it the most amusing thing int he world. So I skipped ahead to #5 and gave it a listen...and I still can't get the song out of my head, and I wanna dress up, wear beads, feathers & lace too. And hey, another vampire reference! You'll have to listen ;)
So an all-and-all great album. Does it have flaws? Sure thing. But not everyone can be as perfectly mechanic in their album-making skills as The Killers. At 63 years old (happy birthday!!!), and after so many drugs and wailings, the voice of Stevie has certainly taken a whacking, but it is still distinctively Stevie...and it does still have a beautifully ethereal quality to it. The worst of the songs is at least average, and "Secret Love" should be a nice single. Stevie herself still looks amazing, and I want to know her beauty regiment...I can only hope to look that good in 30+ years! This album is still in my car, playing over & over again...becuse I have yet to get sick of it. So go buy it! And don't rip, yo, go and actually buy the album. They're always better whole, and in your hands. ****
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