Rolling Stone – It’s her finest collection of songs since the Eighties.
New York Daily News – It’s a vintage Stevie move — a guessing game disguised as poetry
Here’s a summary of the reviews we’ve found on the web so far, if you know of more email a link to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stand BackEven if they’re not right out of your dreams, there’s much to like about the new albums from Stevie Nicks and J.Loby Doug Rule, Published on May 12, 2011Stevie Nicks is back with her first album in 10 years – 30 years after her solo debut. She almost sounds like she never left. She certainly looks as if she never left, dressed in her trademarked dramatic costuming and floor-length gowns all throughout the liner notes to In Your Dreams.Even if it’s not right out of your dreams, there’s much to like about In Your Dreams. Nicks hired Dave Stewart, best known for his work with Annie Lennox in the Eurythmics in the ’80s, to lead produce the whole affair. The result is a solid set that any longtime fan will enjoy, especially if they give it time and can accept the toll that time and a hard life takes on a voice.Nicks, who turns 63 in a couple weeks, owns one of the most recognizable voices in all of pop music: a gritty, growly alto that takes no prisoners, as stark and searing as her image.But it’s not nearly as glorious of a weapon as it once was, first as a member of Fleetwood Mac in the ’70s and especially as the hard-edged ’80s-era solo star whose unalloyed ferocity gave us indelible hits, from ”Edge of Seventeen” to ”Stand Back.” In Your Dreams doesn’t even have a song as punchy as 2001’s ”Planets of the Universe.”Instead, most songs are on the softer side – often drawing from country as much as soft-rock. This tender approach results in songs that are perfectly fine, if a little bland and unremarkable. It was clearly a calculated move, because the approach is also less taxing on Nicks’s voice, which has suffered not just the ravages of age but also her past addictions to both stimulants and downers.”For What It’s Worth” is a powerful ballad – more so with each listen – about someone who rescued Nicks from the abyss. In many ways it gains more power by the sheer fact that Nicks is obviously straining her voice hitting the song’s many gravelly notes. And that fact is a wee bit depressing: the realization that she’s lost firepower on both ends of her vocal register.There’s really only one song out of 13 that could not have been recorded and released in the ’80s. And once you get to it, you’ll wish for more songs like ”Everybody Loves You.” Light touches of electronic-pop usher in the song, which stays light, though bittersweet. ”Everybody loves you, but you’re so alone,” Nicks sings, while Stewart offers intriguing harmony. It’s not exactly clear why, but Nicks’s voice sounds as strong here as anywhere else. It’s clearer, more pristine.As refreshing as it is, even ”Everybody Loves You” can’t leave the past behind. The bridge features an electric guitar solo. It’s somewhat restrained, and doesn’t come out of the blue, but it is blaring – and blinding – all the same.Was the ’80s a good decade for Nicks – and Stewart – or what?
Stevie Nicks is back.
Anyone who has followed her ever since her commercially successful 2001 album Trouble in Shangri-la knows that Nicks has seldom been far from the road. After spending the bulk of 2002 in the studio with Fleetwood Mac torecord their last CD Say You Will, she and the Mac toured in 2003 and 2004 to support that album. One year later, she and Don Henley toured, then she continued the tour on her own. She toured solo again in 2007 and 2008, then toured with Fleetwood Mac in 2009. She even threw in a few shows in an August respite from recording.
Now, Nicks is back with In Your Dreams, her first studio album since Trouble in Shangri-la. That previous record saw Nicks debut at No. 5, which was the highest chart position for a Stevie Nicks solo disc since 1983’s The Wild Heart, which featured one of her best-known songs, “Stand Back.”
The new CD features Nicks’s voice in top shape. She uses that instrument to great effect with some of the most passionate singing she’s had in a very long time. She sings “Secret Love”, the first single, and a song that just missed the cut on Rumour in a comfortable alto that keeps Nicks from scraping into male range.
The title track features inspired vocals and lyrics, including the confidently sung chorus: “I’m just at the other end of your night/I’m always in and out of your life/Right down the middle of all your dreams/In your dreams” brings back to mind of of Nicks’s best lyrics. The bridge features some of her most optimistic lyrics in years: “Are all those tears necessary/For all that pain that you carry/You just send those tears away/Come in out of the darkness/It’s a beautiful day.” Instead of having the subject of the vocal advice simply dry or wipe the tears away, figuratively treating the symptoms of a malady, she’s telling him or her to banish the pain at its source.
She collaborated with Dave Stewart, who was best known as the other half of The Eurythmics. He co-produced the CD with veteran producer Glen Ballard. Nicks described the year she and Stewart worked together, co-writingand having Stewart take several poems and turn them into songs, as the best year of her life, and it shows in the new material.
A previous description of In Your Dreams, even without hearing a majority of the songs was that disc may be “[Trouble in Shangri-la on steroids].” Like Trouble in Shangri-la, the CD sees Lindsey Buckingham make an appearance. Instead of adding additional guitar the way he did on the song “I Miss You”, Buckingham plays guitar and sings harmonies with Nicks on “Soldier’s Angel”, which was inspired by her trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit wounded American soldiers from the U.S. wars in the Middle East. The song even features Nicks taking a stab at political commentary, describing the divide between left and right as “a war of words between worlds … about what is wrong, ’bout what is righteous.”
She also writes a hopeful tribute to New Orleans during which she describes Hurricane Katrina as “a perfect storm” in “The City of Dreams.”
One thing Nicks is well known among her fans for is self referential lyrics, tying in lyrics from earlier songs to her newest songs. “Come in out of the the darkness” from “In Your Dreams” recalls the first title track she wrote, “Bella Donna.” She also refers to the more obscure “Battle Of The Dragon” in “Soldier’s Angel” by repeating the line “no one walks away from this battle.” In the second hard rocker on the CD, “Ghosts Are Gone”, Nicks refers to “a ghost through a fog”, which appears in “Angel” off Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 double album Tusk and in “Sweet Girl” off their 1997 comeback CD The Dance. It’s a device that can be tiresome in some of her weaker material, but in her strongest songs, it ties themes together nicely.
Even if the CD doesn’t bring Nicks back to the top of the charts or any Grammy nominations, the CD is already a success in one regard: It is a strong collection of songs that showcase Nicks at her best, and it shows that even though she’s on the edge of 63, she still has the qualities that shot her to superstardom in the 1970s.
Assignment X : B+
CD Review: Stevie Nicks – IN YOUR DREAMSThe Fleetwood Mac singer produces a solid album of mystical pop in conjunction with former EURYTHMICS frontman Dave StewartGrade: B+
One of the most fascinating aspects about singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks is how she not has masterfully managed to be both a co-frontperson for the band Fleetwood Mac and also have an equally successful solo career, with each sounding unique unto themselves.
Her work with Mac and former lover/partner/bandmate Lindsey Buckingham was seeped in emotional angst, music that was a pop/rock hybrid elevated by Buckingam’s skills as a guitarist and sometimes producer for the band. Her solo stuff leaned more in the rock arena. It was always Nicks at its heart, but she always seem to write a certain way with Mac (“Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy,” etc.) than when she was going solo with tracks like “Edge of Seventeen,” “Talk To Me” and “Stand Back.”
It’s been ten years since her last solo effort TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA and eight since the last Mac release SAY YOU WILL and the time in between has definitely given her space to fashion a bold, and vibrant new album IN YOUR DREAMS.
Paired up with former Eurythmics guru Dave Stewart as producer and occasional co-songwriter, Nicks has found a way of making a forward-thinking album while still sounding eternally Nicks.
If SHANGRI-LA embraced more of her rock side, IN YOUR DREAMS is more pop. And while the pairing with Stewart may make you think the new release is drenched in ‘80s-styled synths, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Stewart, like her pairings with Buckingham and even members of Tom Petty’s The Heartbreakers (who were all over her first two solo albums, and help out here), brings a completely new texture to her sounds.
With “Secret Love,” Nicks delivers a timeless angst-riddled song about forbidden love. It’s a great kick-off to the disc and segues into another forbidden love song, the acoustically-driven “For What It’s Worth” co-written with Heartbreaker Mike Campbell.
While Nicks has managed to keep her Mac past separate, IN YOUR DREAMS finds both Lindsey Buckingham and drummer Mick Fleetwood guesting on many tracks and bringing, no surprise, a Mac vibe. “Wild Sargasso Sea” definitely benefits from Buckingham’s guitar flourishes, but it’s “Soldier’s Angel” that feels as if it’s directly ripped from a ‘70s era Mac album. Buckingham’s sparse guitar and harmony vocals and Nicks lyrics bring to mind RUMOURS-era “The Chain.” It’s a great song and one of the disc’s best.
Nicks gets back to her usual spiritual self with the tracks “New Orleans” and “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream” both name-checking vampires in popular culture. “New Orleans” brings up Anne Rice and vampires, while “Moonlight” is written in response to TWILIGHT. Two songs in this vein is a bit overkill, but only Nicks can make it work as well as she does.
Nicks pulls out her bluesy card with late-album cuts “Ghosts Are Gone” and “You May Be The One.” This is a side that we’ve never really seen Nicks expose of herself and it’s a reminder that her raspy pop vocals are perfect for this barroom swagger. “You May Be The One” is the stronger song as she talks about more heartbreak.
The album closes with “Cheaper Than Free” written with Stewart who also duets and harmonizes with her on it. It’s another experiment for Nicks, having a feel of the strong, stripped down ballads Eurythmics favored during the end of their pop run.
While in the past, Nicks may have seemed like she was trying too hard both vocally and musically, here she seems positively relaxed. Her vocals are in great shape, her rasp never getting the best of her and her focus absolutely pitch-perfect.
Still, IN YOUR DREAMS is not a perfect album. Omit two songs, and it may have come close, but that’s not the point. The point here is that Nicks has found a way to be both current and herself. The disc isn’t overproduced like some of her prior solo efforts (the dreadful THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR) and she clearly is striving for new musical territory to stretch as an artist and add an even richer palette to her already superb catalog of songs
On the cover of In Your Dreams, Stevie Nicks presents herself as many fans likely envision her in their fantasies: dressed in a witchy black dress, standing next to a dreamy white steed, and bathed in a sunny glow from deep inside a magical-looking forest. But contrary to her mystical image and the title of one of her most famous songs, Nicks at her best traffics in hard-won wisdom and scrappy resilience, not dreams. That makes the moony childishness of In Your Dreams even more unbecoming for a 62-year-old survivor who’s presumably done a lot more living and learning since 2001’s Trouble In Shangri-La than this silly album suggests. Nicks once wrote unflinchingly about the pains and pleasures of romantic relationships; on Dreams, she offers the plainly awful “Cheaper Than Free,” a lumbering country-tinged love song containing unintentional laughers like “more exciting than high fashion / high passion” and “What’s deeper than a deep well? / The love into which I fell.” On “New Orleans,” Nicks sounds as clueless about the outside world as she does about matters of the heart, becoming increasingly unmoored from a real-world depiction of the city as she sings about the merits of Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, beads, feathers and lace, and brushing up against author Anne Rice. Tellingly, Nicks is more engaged in the pretend-time fantasylands of “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)”—inspired, yes, by the Stephenie Meyer books—and “Wide Sargasso Sea,” which is more of a book report on the Jean Rhys novel than a cogent musical interpretation. For all the juvenilia of the songwriting, the production on In Your Dreams is an oldster’s abomination, lacquering dated MOR bombast over intermittently inspired melodies that wilt on impact. “Secret Love,” a leftover from the Rumours days, might have shined brighter in more naturalistic environs; as it is, like the rest of Dreams, it’s a disappointment coming from a woman who seemeda lot more grown up back in her late twenties.
NICKS OF TIME: A bad case of the flu kept Stevie Nicks from the Borgata last weekend. Still, nothing should keep fans from “In Your Dreams” (Reprise, A-), Nicks’ first new album in a decade, and well worth the wait.
With the likes of Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard offering writing/production assistance, and L.A.’s most seasoned sidemen sitting in, the set fine-tunes Nicks’ time-honored “I’m a difficult loner who’ll screw with your head” narratives.
She also pays poignant homage (with ex-spouse and Fleetwood Mac mate Lindsey Buckingham) to fallen war heroes on “Soldier’s Angel” and to favorite getaways (“New Orleans” and “Italian Summer”). And Nicks draws another line to old-world folk with her rockin’ cover of “Annabel Lee.”
Rolling Stone : 3½/5
Stevie Nicks built her legend on the California-Babylon chronicles she perfected in the Seventies with Fleetwood Mac, and in the Eighties on underrated solo gems like The Other Side of the Mirror. But she still has that eternal edge-of-17 tremor in her voice. The gypsy queen is in royal form on In Your Dreams — it’s not just her first album in 10 years, it’s her finest collection of songs since the Eighties.
In Your Dreams has the high-gloss L.A. production of her collaborators, Glen Ballard and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart. But the material is Nicks in platform-soled hyper-romantic mode, with her voice in surprisingly supple shape. “Secret Love” is an oldie she wrote in 1976 — who knew she was still keeping secrets from her Rumours days? It seems to be about one of her rock-star beaus, although she coyly maintains she can’t remember which one. Yet it isn’t even one of the better tracks on In Your Dreams. The over-the-top seduction ballad “Italian Summer” could be her answer to the Stones’ “Wild Horses.” It climaxes in a very Stevie credo: “Love was everywhere/You just had to fall.”
Nicks finds storytelling inspiration everywhere, from the Twilight series (“Moonlight [A Vampire's Dream]“) to Jean Rhys (“Wide Sargasso Sea”). But the real showstopper here is the Edgar Allan Poe tribute “Annabel Lee,” a fan fave that’s been kicking around on bootlegs since the Nineties. It’s a six-minute meditation on love and death with echoes of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Dreams.” Poe’s key line — “The moon never beams without bringing me dreams” — might have been written in 1849, but it was clearly meant for Stevie Nicks to sing.
NY Daily News : 4/5
Stevie Nicks’ ‘In Your Dreams’ is her best solo work to dateJim Farber
Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, 4:00 AM
Stevie Nicks lives in a world of clues and innuendos. Her songs read like gossip items with the names cut out, tantalizing bits driven by hints rather than disclosures.
That’s never been more true than on her first disk in a decade, on which she made sure to title the lead single “Secret Love,” in case you miss her love of the salacious.
The song alludes to an affair Nicks had in the mid-’70s with a coupled man, a guy whose identity she has told journalists she can’t quite recall.
Nicks follows that with a song (“For What It’s Worth”) that addresses another “great romance” with somebody famous on the sly. Later, in “Wide Sargasso Sea,” a mysterious “Englishman” moves in with Nicks, but hates her West Coast lifestyle and, so, takes off, while in “Ghosts Are Gone” a shadow of an old lover keeps haunting her dreams.
It’s a vintage Stevie move — a guessing game disguised as poetry. But, then, what else would you expect from a woman who rose to power in a band that turned their own romantic entanglements into something both marketable and mythic? In doing so, Fleetwood Mac functioned like a musical reality show, 30 years before its time.
Luckily, her exploitation of the strategy on “In Your Dreams” isn’t the only intriguing thing about it.
“In Your Dreams” is the 62-year-old’s best solo work since she began recording outside the band. Two elements deserve credit for this. First: producer and (whadyaknow?) old flame Dave Stewart. Long known for shoring up hooks and honing melodies, Stewart rates as Nicks’ best sonic shaper since Lindsey Buckingham.
Equally crucial is Nicks’ willingness to let others write key parts of the music. Mainly that means Stewart, though the most gripping track comes from Mike Campbell, of Heartbreakers fame.
His tune in “For What It’s Worth” has as much elegiac ache as Nicks’ best song ever, “Landslide.” Her lyrics perfect the piece, with more poetic runs than her usual, including a unresolved, Dylanesque chorus that still gets its point across piercingly.
Stewart does nearly as well for her in “Italian Summer,” a grand cabaret ballad unlike anything Nicks has sung before. Its tune couldn’t be bigger, allowing it to both carry its rich orchestration and to enable the star to deliver a vocal with more range than even her most arch fans could have expected.
Some of Nicks’ own tunes benefit from age. The title track dates back to 1976, when her muse was at its peak. Other songs provide winking tweaks on classic Mac tracks, from “Dreams” to “The Chain.” The lyrical teases and allusions that come up along the way may add fascination to all that. But it’s the melodies that make those tidbits sing.
It took Stevie Nicks 40 years to become unpredictable.
After decades of chart-topping repetition and radio-friendly solo albums, Nicks entered the new millennium seemingly spent. As recently as Fleetwood Mac’s 2009 tour, the white winged dove wheezed more than wowed. But like the sorcerers and witches lacing her songs, Nicks always has another trick up her mystical sleeve.
Her latest solo album, “In Your Dreams,” isn’t simply a trick. It’s Nicks’ best music since 1983.
“In Your Dreams” is unpredictable in the only way an album from an aging rocker can be: It doesn’t sound like microwaved nostalgia. Sure, Nicks still relies on the well-worn themes of California witches and love’s labor lost. She’s been doing that since she joined Fleetwood Mac with Lindsey Buckingham on New Year’s Eve 1974. But in 2011, the era of Cullens, and Bella Swans, and shirtless werewolves, her music regains a youthful glisten.
There are moments so good on “In Your Dreams,” you would swear you’re listening to “Gypsy” for the very first time. Lead single “Secret Love” sounds like a Rumours-era B-side, which makes sense since it was written in the same days as “Dreams.” “New Orleans,” which has been circulating on her tours for years, is quite simply the best thing she’s done since 1981’s “Bella Donna.” Nicks is still a kid singing: “I wanna sing in the streets of the French Quarter/I wanna dress up/I wanna wear beads/Wanna wear feathers and lace.”
But not everything here is leather and lace. “In Your Dreams” suffers from the same ails of every Stevie Nicks album: It’s a solo Stevie Nicks album. And conventional wisdom has always held: Fleetwood Mac is greater than the sum of its parts.
Each of the album’s 13 songs could benefit from a John McVie bass groove. Mick Fleetwood makes a few cameos, but he’s largely missed, too.
And that’s without even mentioning Lindsey Buckingham.
Dave Stewart may be a great producer, as he aptly demonstrates here, but no one understands the back alleys of Nicks’ songs like Lindsey Buckingham. He’s spent the better part of 40 years navigating them, giving the musical grandeur that defines classics like “Rhiannon” and “Gold Dust Woman.” It’s impossible not to wonder what magic he could weave here. That Stewart guitar solo on “You May Be The One”? Please. Have you not heard the closing guitar on “Gypsy”!?
We get a small dose of their chemistry on “Soldier’s Angel” where Buckingham contributes guitars and harmonies. Suddenly it’s 1979 and “Tusk” is being re-recorded. It’s a shame that he’s only found on one track. The repertoire shared between the two is one of the best in rock history, bested only by Lennon and McCartney.
Playing “what if” can become a nasty business, however, and it’s hard to not love “In Your Dreams” for what it is: A solid album from a woman who once defined rock and roll from platform boots. There’s not a lot of breathing room here. It’s all business, and though it may occasionally threaten to falter, this ship stays together.
Anyone who dared to think this Welsh witch had nothing left to prove will leave “In Your Dreams” disappointed.
Because Stevie Nicks still has the charm and chops to prove, that after 40 years, dreams unwind and love’s a state of mind.
Entertainment Weekly : A
We’ll never complain about hearing Stevie warble the word dreams; indeed, several times here she comes remarkably close to Fleetwood Mac’s platinum-plated best. But In Your Dreams, Nicks’ first studio album since 2001, is also streaked with the witchy-woman weirdness only she can bring: On ”New Orleans,” she recalls her eternal desire to ”wear feathers and lace,” while ”Soldier’s Angel” finds her intoning ominously about war. Crystal visions? Still intact. A
Parcbench : 4/4
Stevie Nicks’ ‘In Your Dreams’ — This Dream Album Might Just Be Her Best EverWritten by Greg Victor in Music on 3 May 2011Stevie Nicks – In Your Dreams**** (out of 4 stars)Label: Reprise Records
Here she is — the eternal chronicler of California canyon stream of consciousness sending out notes as if they were bubbles capable of bursting at any altitude, yet entirely capable of floating up to the heavens intact. I’m talking about the one and only Stevie Nicks, of course. In case you feel like treating your ears, your heart and your soul well — Stevie has released her new album, In Your Dreams. It’s one of those albums that comes along in a legend’s career — the milestone album that solidifies the reputation of a true artist forevermore. The queen of folk rock is in royal form. Long may she live and love and make songs to unpack the hidden meanings of it all.
In Your Dreams sounds like it could only have been an extraordinary experience to make. Co-producers Dave Stewart, Glenn Ballard and Stevie Nicks have created an album that attempts to do it all (that’s praise-worthy enough)… what’s more, they damn near succeed. It’s an album bursting with creativity. Yet it maintains its balance through a precise focus. These songs present Stevie as potent as ever without relying on any sort of gimmick. All that is asked of her is to be truer than ever in her delivery. Yeah, that’s all. And she is. It’s just this sort of relaxation within the parameters of tautness that brings out the best in most artists. And it must have been a fun album to make, what with Stevie Nicks writing and recording in her home studio. Writing and recording In Your Dreams must have been as close as it gets to what the experience was in the profound 1970s heyday of American rock.
ACRN.COM : 7/10
Key Tracks: “Annabelle Lee,” “You May Be The One,” “New Orleans”
Stevie Nicks is not only the reigning queen of rock ‘n’ roll; she is the queen of dreamscapes. And yes, for anyone even vaguely familiar with her Fleetwood Mac days, that was as much a comment on her latest effort as it was a shameless and easy allusion to her past.
In Your Dreams is Nicks’ first solo album in nearly a decade and it is worth the wait. With collaboration with David A. Stewart of Eurythmics stardom, the romantic and intriguing effort is everything we could hope for from two legends.
Nicks’ voice, though noticeably changed, has aged remarkably well and still manages to maintain a youthful edge–at least when she wants it to, as on the fast-paced and naively poppy title track. Yet, it also has a wizened quality that shines when appropriate as on the narrative ballad “Wide Segasso Sea” and the folk-twinged “For What It’s Worth.”
While most are not generally inclined to take anything admittedly influenced by the “Twilight” saga seriously, “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” is admittedly a listenable and lyrically intriguing track. But as far as literary allusions go, the strongest on this album is definitely “Annabelle Lee”–Edgar Allen Poe’s masterpiece getting in touch with its ‘80s side.
The best parts of the album, however, are the parts where Nicks is influenced by her own past.
The somewhat soulful “You May Be The One” is nostalgic in all the right ways, working in bluesy guitar licks and biting lyrics like “You may be the one but you’ll never be the one.” It is a tale of heartbreak, knowledge and ultimately of experience that centers around the phrase “used to”–the most human of phrases. The song reminds us that Nicks is an artist who has actually done some living, not just played the part–adding a layer of believable truth to her lyricism.
This is echoed on “Italian Summer,” a tune equal parts enchantment and disenchantment. “Oh it’s so romantic / Oh it is all so soulful” sings Nicks with more than a hint of sarcasm in her tone, clearly commenting on youthful romanticism from the lens of–not a jaded–but a realistic adult perspective.
In Your Dreams is poppy in places and soulful in others. Storytelling ballads blend into mythic sagas with nods to gothic poetry for good measure. The cover art is over the top. The vampire reference is a bit much. But, in general, fans of Stevie Nicks will not be disappointed by this latest release. In fact, they might even be pleasantly surprised by its depth–which in the end is all we can really ask of an artist.
The National 3/5
The “search for love that might work” Nicks – still charismatic at almost 63 – refers to here seems to précis something of her own life, but Fleetwood Mac’s self-styled “Welsh Witch” is still adept at turning mysterious diary entries into potent songs.
Witness Everybody Loves You, replete with “Iberian noir” intro and an airy, indelible chorus co-voiced by the former Eurhythmic, Dave Stewart. Nicks, Stewart and the Alanis Morissette collaborator Glen Ballard co-produce here, while guests include Nicks’s Mac bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham.
For What It’s Worth – co-penned with Tom Petty’s right-hand man Mike Campbell – also shines.
US Magazine : 4/5
The gold dust woman hasn’t faded one bit! At 62, iconic Fleetwood Mac frontwoman Stevie Nicks has turned out the finest solo album of her four-decade career. It’s powered by her unmistakable, ageless vocals and intricate storytelling, from the enchanting first single “Secret Love” to the understated serenade “For What It’s Worth” (which mirrors her 1975 Mac classic “Landslide”). (Reprise)
Perhaps it’s all down to Stevie Nicks being at peace with her legacy, perhaps she was coaxed back toward the ‘70s by producer David A. Stewart, perhaps it’s the presence of Lindsey Buckingham on “Soldier’s Angel,” or perhaps it’s the fact that she excavated a 1976 song called “Secret Love” for this album, but In Your Dreams is Stevie’s first solo album to embrace the sound of Fleetwood Mac at their prime. Nicks never exactly ran away from the Mac, but her ‘80s solo hits were tempered by a steely demeanor and her subsequent solo albums strove too hard to recapture the magic that In Your Dreams conjures so easily. Despite the quite deliberate connections to her past, In Your Dreams never feels labored; the hippie folk drifts into the mystic pop, punctuated by some witchy rock that may be polished a bit too sharply by Stewart, yet he manages to keep everything warm despite its cleanliness. Stewart’s real coup is focus: he keeps everything tight and purposeful, letting each element snugly fit together so In Your Dreams winds up capturing the essence of Stevie Nicks, which — as her previous three decades of solo albums prove — is no easy feat.
AZ Central : 3½/5
It’s been 10 years since Stevie Nicks released an album, and she starts her new one with a song she wrote the same year Fleetwood Mac recorded “Rumours.”But Nicks sounds surprisingly vital and engaged in the creative process here, especially on “Secret Love,” a song she’s had 35 years to record. Of course, it sounds exactly like the sort of thing she would have written then. Even Dave Stewart’s production has a certain Lindsey Buckingham-esque sheen to it on that one. And the lyrics would have fit right in: “I am not asking forever from you/I’m just asking to be held for a while.”
It’s not the only highlight here, “Italian Summer” is a lush romantic waltz with stately orchestration, recalling both the drama of Roy Orbison and the aching beauty of that Morning Benders single from last year that tried so hard to sound like they’d recorded it in 1961. And Nicks rushes the phrasing in all the right place on the chorus hook: “At the end of the Italian summer, It rains fast and it rains hard/The wind blows right through you/Tears you apart.”
There are echoes of Stewart’s past shading the techno-pop intro to the yearning “Everybody Loves You,” whose chorus hook ends on a brilliantly Beatlesque chord change. Buckingham’s harmonies on “Soldier’s Angel,” a dark, dramatic anti-war lament whose eerie atmosphere recalls “The Chain,” are sure to conjure flashbacks to the ’70s for Fleetwood Mac fans. There’s also a definite Buckingham vibe to the rollicking California rockabilly of the title track, despite his lack of input on that song. And it’s a shame she didn’t get “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” together in time to cash in on the “Twilight” craze.
Those “Twilight” kids would find plenty to love if they investigated Nicks’ back pages.
- Ed Masley
Washington DC Blade
Stevie Nicks returns this week with her first studio album in a decade, ‘In Your Dreams.’ (Courtesy of Reprise Records) The music business circa 2011 is, as everybody knows, in the toilet. It’s a blessing and a curse for all involved — consumers, of course, have the option of buying songs one at a time, but that means album sales aren’t what they used to be so there’s little incentive for veteran artists to make records. All the money’s in touring.Top-tier acts who still release albums every couple years are mostly doing it to satiate their muses. So it’s no wonder it took Stevie Nicks a full 10 years to get back to making a proper solo album.“In Your Dreams,” out Tuesday, is her first studio album since 2001’s “Trouble in Shangri-La” and it’s been an excrutiatingly long wait for her bastion of rabid fans, among some of the most loyal in all of rock.For all her ‘80s industriousness — she churned out an amazing amount of product both on her own and with Fleetwood Mac in that whirlwind decade — boy, did we pay for it in the ’00s. There were gems along the way — the 2003 Mac album “Say You Will” is an underrated tour de force for her and Lindsey Buckingham — but fans hoping she’d have a career renaissance after kicking years of drug problems were sorely disappointed. She seemed largely content to tour, do guest spots and the occasional hits package (“Crystal Visions”) or live project (“Soundstage Sessions”).“Dreams,” a classy and melodically rich collaboration with Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics), arrives with anticipation set at fever-pitch levels. It’s been such a long wait, there’s almost no way the album could live up to expectations. But setting that aside and putting things into perspective, it’s pretty obvious from the first spin this is one of Nicks’ strongest, most consistent albums, perhaps even her best since 1985’s “Rock a Little.” It blows 1994’s dismal “Street Angel” away and while individual songs on “Trouble” are better than most of the tracks here, “Dreams” is overall a better, more cohesive album.Several songs chug along with a mid-temp, driving beat reminiscent of “Talk to Me,” like first single “Secret Love,” the Edgar Allen Poe-inspired “Annabel Lee” and the slightly lighter, slightly slower “Everybody Loves You.” Several songs start slow but then blossom in unexpected ways — the rugged, jangly beat on “Wide Sargasso Sea” doesn’t kick in until the second verse; the strange and catchy “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” gradually picks up steam.Most of the album follows these light rock/A.C.-flavored vibes and tempos. The lone rocker is also one of the album’s best cuts — the lyrically brilliant “Ghosts Are Gone,” an incisive snapshot of how past loves still haunt.
“For What It’s Worth” sounds a little flat at first — it’s a potent lyrical snapshot of the possibility of romance with someone who’s already in another relationship, but its refrain is initially almost an anti-chorus as it seems to sap the song of its momentum. Nicks doubles her vocals an octave higher on the second and third choruses, a trick used on several of the “Say You Will” cuts, that adds great texture again here.Things get rather unexpected in the final three tracks. “You May Be the One,” a bluesy, torchy number provides welcomed contrast musically while penultimate cut “Italian Summer” finds Nicks actually belting something out for a change. Her vocal strengths, especially in recent years, have lied mostly in her distinctive timbre rather than oomph. She never had the lung power of, say, Annie Lennox or Ann Wilson (Heart), but she flirts with it on “Summer.” Here’s hoping she includes that in her live show — it has the potential to be a huge show-stopping moment.The only dud is the odd, spare “Soldier’s Angel,” a duet with Buckingham that never catches fire. It’s a shame, too — it has a lovely lyric. Much better is “Cheaper Than Free,” a duet with Stewart that closes the record on a tender, understated note.If there’s any overarching disappointment to the whole thing, it’s simply that Nicks feels a little too relaxed, a little too vocally middle of the road at age 62. Nobody, of course, is expecting her to tear it up like the wild woman she was in her early Mac years in the ‘70s, but it would have been great if Stewart and co-producer Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette) could have elicited a little of the vocal energy she brought to legendary cuts like “Stand Back,” “Edge of Seventeen,” “Seven Wonders” or “I Can’t Wait.” Nicks thanks her vocal coach in the liner notes. He’s probably done wonders for the longevity of her voice — few are the forces of nature like Tina Turner or gospel’s Shirley Caesar who can let it rip for decades on end — but if there’s any of that left in the Nicks pipeline, it would have given the album more energy and would have been great to get down on wax.But that’s quibbling — overall, this is a stately, grand and highly welcomed return to recording from one of rock’s best, and in some ways underrated, singers.
Stevie Nicks “In Your Dreams” Stream Stevie Nicks’ new album, including a song she wrote in the 70’s that didn’t make the cut on “Rumors.”
Fleetwood Mac had two distinct periods of major success as a band: first in the 1960’s lead by founder and guitarist Peter Green with an awesome blues sound that few seem to be aware of — and later in the 1970’s with Lindsey Buckingham replacing Green, who had spiraled into madness after taking large does of acid. Buckingham brought his girlfriend, a pretty thing with a sultry voice, with him into the band and Stevie Nicks emerged as the indisputable queen of 70’s rock and roll.
The band was fantastic, but it was Nicks that catapulted them to new heights with her inimitable style and the hits she wrote, like “Dreams” and “Landslide.” She’s returned with a solo record for the first time in 10 years, called “In Your Dreams” with the help of Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart, co-producing. Rolling Stone has the album up and streaming here.
Nicks, now 62 years old, pursues the same magical and lovelorn themes she did when she was 22. In fact, the track “Secret Love” was written in the mid 70’s about an affair she was having as her relationship with Buckingham fell apart during the recording of “Rumors.”
“I have really tried to remember who it was about,” Nicks told Spinner, “but at the end of 1975, the world was spinning around us so fast, and we were meeting people every other day. There were gorgeous men and gorgeous women everywhere. We were fast and beautiful and crazy.”
There are a few charmers on this album such as “Annabel Lee” and closer “Cheaper than Free.” “Soldier’s Angel” even recalls some of that old Fleetwood Mac sound, but there are some real duds too, and Stewart’s no Lindsey Buckingham with a guitar. The ZZ Top licks on “Ghosts are Gone” are particularly troubling. This record’s probably not for the 20 and 30 somethings who have been breathing new life into Fleetwood Mac and old Stevie Nicks records again for the past decade, but it’s nice to hear Stevie musing again all the same.
Dreamy tunes from chanteuse Nicks
When Stevie Nicks toured with Rod Stewart recently, she favored her biggest solo and Fleetwood Mac hits, playing only one tune from this, her first new album in a decade. She could easily have played a couple more, as “In Your Dreams’’ is a solid effort, chock-full of the things that Nicks’s fans have come to enjoy about their twirling, dusky-voiced, mystically inclined chanteuse.
With help from producers Dave Stewart of Eurythmics — who co-wrote seven songs as well — and Glen Ballard, Nicks sings of big loves and losses and sprinkles them with her enchanted glitter of optimism, melancholy, ecstasy, and regret.
“Wide Sargasso Sea’’ is as expansive as the novel from which it takes its inspiration, as Nicks mixes up warm acoustic strumming, twinkling keys, and a great shock of electric guitar rock riffery from longtime musical companion Waddy Wachtel.
Old flame and Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham drops by to add harmonies and guitar to the emotional ballad “Soldier’s Angel.’’ She longs for Bourbon Street on “New Orleans,’’ a haunted track that is simultaneously solemn and celebratory. And she remembers with a palpable bittersweetness a love that wasn’t meant to be on the tender “For What It’s Worth.’’
As usual, she also rocks a little, picking up the pace and intensity on the title track and the spectral musings of “Ghosts Are Gone.’’
If she occasionally veers into territory too gauzy or fantastical for some — as on the “New Moon’’-inspired “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)’’ or the long-ago-far-away fairy tale of the maiden “Annabel Lee’’ — her inimitable, throaty purr keeps things grounded. SARAH RODMAN
ESSENTIAL “For What It’s Worth’’
Vinyl Player : 4/5
Source : Vinyl Player
Review: Stevie Nicks – In Your Dreams 4 out of 5 starsOn Stevie Nicks first album in a decade she puts her bluesy voice down on a large variety of tracks from rocking pop songs Secret Love, In Your Dreams, Annabel Lee to old-school For What It’s Worth and You May Be The One to pure bluesy rock Wild Sargasso Sea, Soldier’s Angel and Ghosts Are Gone.
The album sounds like a pleasant mixture of old and new, and most pleasantly it works. The songs have a kind of mysticism to them, Stevie singing about ghosts and vampires. The stories are beautifully told by Stevie’s voice that shines especially on slower New Orleans, which is the absolute highlight of the album.
I can see why the modern sounds on tracks like Moonlight and Secret Love could be a problem for some fans of Nick’s, but it didn’t actually bother me at all, the CD sounds very current and at times I almost forgot that Stevie actually is 62 not 22 years old.
The record is closed with a very beautiful duet ballad Cheaper Than Free.
Trying to conclude everything In Your Dreams sounds fresh but still familiar at the same time, Stevie stills sounds wonderful and everything else also seems to be working, the track listing is a nice variety of genres… Just make sure you get this record when it’s released 3rd May
Rossland Radio : 3½/5
Source : Rossland Radio
In Your Dreams Stevie Nicks (Warner) *** ½While we all wait (okay, maybe just some of us) for anything new from Fleetwood Mac, Stevie’s first album of solo material in ten years, co-produced by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, is going to fill the gap very nicely.While on tour with the Mac in Australia in ’09, Nicks wrote“Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), inspired by the New Moon flick, and knew it was time to start making another album. “This was one of the most extraordinary experiences I’ve had, making a record” she says of In Your Dreams. It’s the first time I’ve had this sort of collaboration since making ‘Rumours’. Dreams was made in her home studio and besides Stewart and Ballard, her collaborators include longtime friend and musical director Waddy Watchel, Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks. I can’t compare this to any of her other solo albums because, other than a few of her hits, my main contact with her music is through Fleetwood Mac. “In Your Dreams” comes about like a great Mac album without the angst and antagonism. Songs like “Wild Sargasso Sea” are dramatic and sexy (musically not unlike “Tweeter & The Monkey Man”) and there is some truly fine ballad work too, as only Stevie can do it. She just keeps getting better, and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.Hot Spots: “Secret Love” (also the first single), “In Your Dreams”, “Wild Sargasso Sea”, “Ghosts Are Gone”
By now, you’ve probably heard the — cough, cough — Rumours. And rest assured, they’re pretty accurate.
The most unexpected comeback of 2011 — indeed, in many a moon — is the sucker-punch return of ex-Fleetwood Mac faerie queen Stevie Nicks, with a rock-solid new seventh solo set, “In Your Dreams,” which hits stores tomorrow.
Recorded in her own home studio and shrewdly produced by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, the album features her longtime guitarist Waddy Wachtel, plus the Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell and backup singers, Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks.
It’s her first new material since the Grammy-nominated Trouble In Shangri-La”a full decade ago.
And from the spooky-synth opener Secret Love (a track penned way back in 1976 about an unspecified celebrity beau), Nicks’ voice is as lissome and smoke-plumed as ever. She adeptly dips into country (For What It’s Worth), the Twilight”phenomenon (the piano-based ballad Moonlight (Vampire’s Dream)), sparse-gravely blues (Soldier’s Angel) and, of course, her traditional gauzelike sound (the 5½ minute Wide Sargasso Sea). She even morphs Poe into pop, singing the verses of his forlorn Annabel Lee.
Nicks says the record is the first since Rumours where she’s felt so at home in a collaborative environment, which she attributes to Eurythmics mastermind Stewart. Naturally, tracking everything in her own house certainly helped, as well.
We happily doff our plumed fedora to this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — welcome back
Slant Magazine : 1½/5
Stevie NicksIn Your Dreams*½
A new solo album from rock legend and beloved quasi-mystical figure Stevie Nicks should be cause for celebration. From a year’s worth of tweets by producer Dave Stewart to a predictably fawning Rolling Stone profile, the lead-up to Nicks’s In Your Dreams has certainly built a fever-pitched level of anticipation among the singer’s die-hard fans. But In Your Dreams indulges in some of Nicks’s worst tendencies as a songwriter and is slathered in chintzy, dated production values.
Lead single “Secret Love” opens the album with what turns out to be its best-written song. That Nicks originally wrote the tune during the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s landmark Rumours is telling: It’s a fine enough song, but it wasn’t quite good enough to make the cut for that classic album. That Stewart misses an opportunity to give the song some of the grit of vintage Fleetwood Mac and instead douses it in a banal, easy-listening wash does Nicks no favors. Even the album’s harder, uptempo blues cuts are spit-polished to a suffocating, antiseptic degree.
Unfortunately, the poor quality of the songwriting falls primarily on Nicks’s shoulders. “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” was inspired by her viewing of The Twilight Saga: New Moon while on tour, and it boasts exactly the same degree of depth as Stephenie Meyer’s vapid, wooden prose. Even worse is “New Orleans,” with a howlingly bad chorus that finds Nicks singing, “I want to dress up/I want to wear beads/I want to wear feathers and lace/I want to brush by Anne Rice,” with an inexplicable reverence. That the melody lifts at the end of each line overemphasizes the final word of those lines, giving the song an obnoxious, stilted cadence. It’s perhaps the worst song in Nicks’s entire catalogue, reducing the culture of New Orleans to Bourbon Street and vampire lore.
“Italian Summer” misses its mark almost as badly, with hollow exclamations about how the hard rain in Italy is “so romantic” and, oddly, “soulful.” And “Cheaper Than Free,” a duet with Stewart, is structured like a nursery rhyme, with the two singers posing questions that they immediately answer with pat rhymes. Nicks is simply too good to be singing lines like “What’s faster than a speeding car? A beating heart” or “What’s more exciting than high fashion? High passion.”
Stewart’s production choices are just as tin-eared. Dating back to his tenure with the Eurhythmics, Stewart has proven himself to be one of pop music’s most progressive, fearless producers, which would make him a perfect choice to work with an icon like Nicks on her first solo album in 10 years. But he’s rarely sounded so conservative at the mixing board as he does on In Your Dreams. The reserved acoustic strumming that drives “For What It’s Worth” only exacerbates the song’s monotonous melody, highlighting how much range and power Nicks’s voice has lost in the decade since the underappreciated Trouble in Shangri-La.
There’s simply nothing about In Your Dreams that works. Nicks and Stewart have both claimed that the recording of the album was one of the most enjoyable experiences in their respective careers, and certainly stars of their stature and undeniable talent deserve to take pleasure in their work. But the end product is anything but a pleasure to listen to. Nicks’s devoted followers and Team Edward might go for In Your Dreams out of loyalty, but the album is a rare misfire from Nicks.