Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stevie Nicks birthday show in LA celebrates "In Your Dreams" album

It's been quite a month for fans of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. An entire episode of NBC's "Glee" was devoted to music from "Rumours" and digital sales of the rock band's classic 1977 album suddenly shot through the roof. Those selections sung by the cast just came out on "Glee: The Music, Vol. 6."

Then Stevie Nicks unveiled "In Your Dreams," her first studio release in a decade. The stellar collection features an impressive roster of musicians, including Eurythmics' Dave Stewart (who produced and co-wrote several songs with Nicks - the first time she'd done that in her career), Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, longtime Nicks guitarist (and member of Keith Richards' X-Pensive Winos) Waddy Wachtel, pedal steel master Greg Leisz and regular backing vocalists Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks. Glen Ballard (Aerosmith, Alanis Morrisette) co-produced.

Clocking in at just under 65 minutes, many of the tracks run past the five minute mark, which should delight Nicks' old school, album rock radio listening followers. The lyrics are intriguing as ever, often filled with mystery.

The origin of percolating opener "Secret Love" dates back to the "Rumours" days. Based on a past clandestine relationship, it finds Nicks and the ladies' full-bodied harmonies taking center stage.

Among the other highlights: a piano-driven "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)," inspired by the "New Moon" film; sweeping, string section-enhanced "Italian Summer," which is simply gorgeous and concludes with a sustained vocal note that proves Nicks' range is still robust.

Buckingham plays acoustic guitar and sings on the stark and dramatic "Soldier's Angel," evoking their 1973 pre-Mac duo album. Stewart provides another welcome male counterpoint on stately closing song "Cheaper Than Free." A slight rockabilly vibe takes over "Ghosts Are Gone"; "Wide Sargasso Sea" is a chugging, bluesy number and "Everybody Loves You" bears the most obvious Ballard stamp, with modern keyboards that wouldn't be out of place in a Rihanna song.  

Nicks celebrates her 63th birthday with a belated album release party tonight at 7 p.m., Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles. Tickets are $51-$120 and available through Live Nation. 

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