on 7 July 2011
Yes the title says it all in that when I heard the single 'Secret Love' (released before the album) I thought this would be too 'pop diva' oriented. Actually, that song DOES grow on you after a time but I do not think it was representative of what is a fine album. I've heard all of Stevie's albums and she can walk a fine line between Pop, AOR, Country/Folk and Heavy Rock. Sometimes she'll stray too far into vacuous pop territory such as on her 'The Other Side of the Mirror' album, thankfully though the balance here is just right. You have the title track and Ghosts are Gone which are uptempo rockers (the latter is especially good); Wide Sargasso Sea is a typically 'Stevie' intense heavy rock saga recalling 'Sisters of the Moon' as is Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream); New Orleans, Cheaper than Free are folksy workouts that show off Stevie's (still excellent) vocals; My Heart and Italian Summer are emotional AOR style ballads, all these are good to excellent but perhaps the peak (for me) of the album is the track with the simplest production (recorded 'live' with Lindsay Buckingham on vocals and guitar) Soldier's Angel. This is almost a 'tone poem' inspired by Stevie's work with war veterans but is delivered with that wonder of nature that is Stevie's voice. Deep in tone, rich in harmonics and with a fragile beauty topped off with a natural vocal 'vibrato', the closest musical equivalent is a cello. If you only hear (or yuck!!! Download) one track this is the one that stands comparison with Stevie's finest efforts.
Is it Stevie's best album? No. Is it a fine album? yes! But stick with it, as many of these tracks need time to grow on you.
on 15 July 2011
Being a huge Stevie fan since the mid 90s I should have been looking forward to this album like I did with her last solo offering 'Trouble In Shangri-La' where I picked it off the shelf and placed it by my heart until I reached the till!
Stevie's voice of late is a lot poorer as shown on the at times embarrasingly awful 'Soundstage Session' album from two years ago. The words lazy and flat come to mind. Stevie needs to surround herself not with sycophants but people who will tell her that she needs to make more of an effort.
Therefore, news of a new album has filled me with dread; dread for flat vocals and tuneless melodies. I was surprisingly wrong and rate this album second in her solo career, behind 'The Wild Heart'. I have never quite rated 'Belladonna' as much as the average Stevie fan by the way.
Yes, her voice has changed a lot in ten years but producer Dave Stewart has kicked her up the arse, it seems, and told her to make that effort. She can still reach those notes. I just wish to God that she tries them live more often. Musically it's more akin to 'Belladonna', having a country-rock feeling, but it's far more subtle.
The album is on a high with the sweet Annabel Lee (with lyrics taken from Edgar Allan Poe,) Everybody Loves You (with beautiful harmonies with Dave,) Ghosts Are Gone (with a guitar riff up there with Edge of Seventeen,) Italian Summer ('so romantic' as Stevie sings,) and Cheaper Than Free (with again beautiful harmonies with Dave finishing off the album.)
A major embarrassment is, however, 'Soldier's Angel' where Stevie's ego and self-importance shine through. Next she'll be saying she has played a major hand in a successful war!
Yes, most of the songs are co-written, but so what! Yes, most of the songs are old, but so what! What you have is the realisation that Dave Stewart is the man to thank. I have been wishing for a Buckingham Nicks II as I've always loved Stevie and Lindsey's harmonies. In my opinion, Stevie and Dave's vocals compliment each other so well that I think an officially joint album should be made.
Well done Dave (and I suppose Stevie!)
The long-awaited Stevie Nicks album (some ten years after her last solo outing) was, as it turns out, worth that wait.
The opener, 'Secret Love,' is a new recording of a song Nicks wrote in 1976.
It was considered for Fleetwood Mac's classic Rumours album but never went beyond demo stage.
It's a traditional mid-tempo Stevie Nicks and a solid enough opener, but is not close to being the best number of the thirteen presented on In Your Dreams...
The song `For What it's Worth' harks back to the best of the singer's lighter, poignant musical moments while `New Orleans' is one of those more delicate Nicks numbers that the singer seems to be able to create and sing with ease.
The rockier numbers match and compliment the lighter material - the title track is bright, melodic rock and roll, `Wide Sargasso Sea' carries a swagger all its own and `Ghosts Are Gone' allows Nicks to shake off the lace and stamp the high-heeled leather boots.
Stevie Nicks defining musical characteristics are without doubt her distinct vocal tonality, vibrato and the personal and/ or wistful lyrics. Yet the highlight of the album may well be, ironically, the one song that doesn't feature the latter trait.
`Annabel Lee' is based around the words of the Edgar Allan Poe poem carrying the same name.
The 19th century American poet and author's work (based on a man's undying love for a woman, even after her death) has been given the trademark Stevie Nicks soft-rock treatment and the combination of Poe's prose, the musical accompaniment and Nicks interpretation of the poetic words have produced one of the prettiest songs she has ever recorded.
The album nearly ends on another highlight with the lovely, orchestrated `Italian Summer' but strangely that song has been sequenced as the penultimate number with `Cheaper Than Free' closing proceedings.
The latter features Dave Stewart (co-producer of the album and co-writer of half the songs) dueting with Nicks but unfortunately the song just isn't strong enough to close out the album. It doesn't add anything to musical proceedings and, quite frankly, In Your Dreams becomes a stronger album with the song removed.
But that said, what we have here is not only the first Stevie Nicks album in ten years but the best Stevie Nicks album since the 80's, when the singer just wanted to Rock a Little outside of Fleetwood Mac.
And she did. And she does. Very successfully.
on 29 June 2011
Stevie Nicks You have cracked it again.Iv'e been a Stevie fan for a while now and love every solo album she has done so i had to pre-order this new one i was so excited waiting to hear it and i totaly love this album it was well worth the wait.I wasn't sure what i thought when i first played it but when i finaly sat down and listened from start to finish i loved it.I love the fact that when Stevie gives us a new album she always gives her fans the lyris inside (im sure everyone agrees).All her songs tell you a story and you can put your own theories to them.My favourites have got to be Moonlight (a vampire's dream) it's beautifully written and the music is mind blowing just like track 9 (everybody loves you)i think it's obvious (to me) this could be about stevie & lyndsey.I think that Stevie Nicks & Dave Stewart work brilliant together & have done a fantastic job with this album,this is Stevie's first album in ten years and she just gets better just like a fine wine that you leave to mature with time with the cork on hidden away for ten years and when you open like the album it explodes with brilliance.Stevie has got a very unique voice she is my icon she has helped me through some rough times.If you've not got this album yet honestly go get it now you will not be disapointed at all as im getting another copy for my car,listen out for track 1,2,3,4,6,8 is kind of (fleetwood mac sound) 9 music is mind blowing,12,13,.Just get your hands on this album it's outstanding i can promise you. Stevie is 63yrs young and right back from Bella Donna in 1981 to now 2011 she is the best singer/songwriter that this world has ever had and no-one will ever come close to be as talented as her,Thankyou Stevie Nicks & Dave Stewart & not forgetting Sharon & Lori,.Stevie your dad would be so proud of his (sweet girl) you are a fearless legend.
on 12 May 2011
Music is very personal and we all have opinions on what should be regarded as a landmark album. I have been fortunate to listen to Stevie Nicks' latest album `In Your Dreams' in advance of the UK's launch and have no hesitation to state that this is going to be one of the best albums of 2011.
`In Your Dreams' is captivating. Every one of the songs is relevant and Stevie Nicks sounds great for the duration of the album. Stevie Nicks has the most distinct, charismatic voice I've ever heard, and she also happens to be one of the premiere songwriters of our time. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I listened to `In Your Dreams' for the first time. Would it be over-produced and artificial? Not a chance, it is excellently produced and the music is varied and each song has so much to offer the listener. Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart really work well together.
If you have ever appreciated Stevie Nicks as a true artist, this album is not to be missed. Do yourself a favour, purchase it, then listen to it front to back at least once without interruption. Give it a chance to soak under your skin. I guarantee it will. If you can't find something to love on this album, you probably weren't much of a Stevie Nicks fan in the first place.
Stevie Nicks should be proud of herself to have created something so special at this point in her career. I congratulate her and Dave Stewart for a job well done.
on 3 July 2011
I suspect a musician of stevie nicks calibre can expect mixed reviews both rave and critical its the nature of the beast and depends what your expectations are , if you go in looking for the negative i am sure you will succeed in finding it , my policy is to go in with an open mind and let the music speak although in this case i could be bias , i love both stevie nicks and dave stewart so for me this album is essential but putting that to one side i personally find this stevies strongest output to date and how i always wanted stevies solo work to sound , mellow dreamy memorable ballads are aplenty along with dave stewarts trademark brilliant guitar work and contribution , production is much tighter and whole thing just flows making it for me personally a very enjoyable listening experience ..
on 30 June 2011
Having read the reviews posted on Amazon I almost decided not to purchase this but something made me press the 'buy now' button and I am so glad I did. From the first play I enjoyed it all and and now I love every track. Stevie's voice is as distinctive as ever and the lyrics of each song are indeed poetry. I felt transported back 25 years although it is not dated. You know what it's like when a song pops up in your head for no particular reason, I found that happened with Secret love, For what it's worth and In your dreams - so memorable. Soldier's Angel is so poignant it brings tears and Cheaper than Free is an excellent finale. Buy this album - you will not be disappointed and can't fail to find a track you love.
on 18 July 2011
In Your Dreams is Stevie Nicks most accomplished release in her solo career - and for many reasons.
There is an impressive range of styles and approaches in the music and vocal expression on display here, which reveals the artist at the top of her game, unafraid to take risks, and delivering some amazing emotional wallops that were present on her other releases, but not in such abundance.
The standout track has to be the stunning Annabel Lee, which recalls Fleetwood Mac at their very best, and then surpasses it. Beautiful melody, wonderfully soaring powerful vocals that we haven't witnessed since the mid 80s, and a prime candidate for the next single, which, with enough airplay and a physical CD single release, could be a monster hit.
"New Orleans" is another fantastic cut, which has some very Bob Dylan-esque phrasing and vocal touches, and is a truly heartfelt paean and an acute observation of a devastated city. In Stevie's hands, the musical alchemy turns a disaster into a triumphant gem.
"Ghosts Are Gone" sees Nicks rocking out with some of her strongest and smokiest vocals in a very long time. Great guitar signature, cool lyrics, and a chorus that demands you just get up and shake your ass for the full 6 minutes!
"Moonlight" is the long-awaited fully-accomplished 'Lady from the Mountain' of the 70s, treated to a stirring and menacing chorus - the demo was always one of her best but always lacked the hook of a great chorus - she's found it, and oh boy does it pay off!
"Wide Sargasso Sea" has a superb lyric and an insistent and relentless crescendo that builds and builds - this is a track destined to be one of her classics and just grows and grows on you with each listen - currently my second favourite behind Annabel Lee.
"Soldier's Angel" is a remarkable tone poem with the magic of Lindsey Buckingham's vocals and guitar sprinkled on top. It recalls the anger, sadness and menace of "Illume" on "Say You WIll" - not immediately easy to listen to, but after a couple of spins its power is undeniable and is one of Nicks' instant signature tunes.
"Italian Summer" will go down as the unbelievable vocal for an artist of Stevie's maturity, and simply blows her would-be critics out of the water once and for all. A recent reviewer here suggested that Nicks hasn't got the melody or tunefulness of her youth - listen to this and prepare to be astounded.
"Secret Love" and "In Your Dreams" are great radio friendly Stevie-pop songs which have very clever instant hooks and are easily appreciated by a very wide audience. Perhaps the surprising jewel on the album is the slower "Everybody Loves You", which, all credit to Dave Stewart, is perfect for Stevie's lyrics and shimmering honeyed vocal - again a performance that ranks among her best, and certainly pulls at the heart strings the only way Stevie can.
Every track on this album is truly great - any detractors are mystifyingly so not hearing the wonders of this amazing talent that it's extremely difficult to explain their lack of enthusiasm.
I've loved Stevie for nearly 30 years, and I can say hand on heart, this is Stevie at her very best.
Buy it, love it,
on 10 August 2014
Love Stevie Nicks. Brilliant album! She never fails to impress me with her musical talent. I ought the dvd to accompany this . Love listening to it again and again! Would recommend
on 29 June 2011
Seriously, this album is addictive. Maybe it's because it has so many different types of songs, I don't know. Her voice sounds incredible. Rich and expressive and NOT goaty at all. A couple of these tracks, like 'In Your Dreams' and 'Annabel Lee', are already right up there with anything she's done with F.Mac. 'Wide Sargasso Sea' is a boiling beast of a rock song, based on some fantastic drumming and wailing guitar. 'You May Be The One' is a delicious swaying blues with shimmering harmonies. 'For What It's Worth' is stripped-back, fragile and emotionally stunning. There's really only one track I could take or leave, but otherwise this is such a solid, engaging and diverse album from one of the most iconic vocalists in rock. 8/10