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Trouble In Shangri-La Review

W (magazine)
May 2001
(Volume 30, Issue 5)
pg. 128 Critical Eye:  Music

Let the Madonnas and the Hillarys of the world do the reinvention thing�cycling through looks, surnames, accents, baseball teams and religious traditions�buzzing from persona to persona with nary a backward glance.  Stevie Nicks, rock�s untamable sorcerer princess, would rather be herself.  Still working the same windblown hairdo and gossamer gowns she made her trademark in the mid-Seventies heyday of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks is�it must finally be acknowledged�the mystical creature she always professed herself to be.  She�s for real.  Her shtick is bone-deep.  And these days, with our great institutions, from the stock market to the Supreme Court, dropping like Devonshire cattle, it turns out that Nicks is just about the only thing we can count on.  She just keeps twirling, and twirling...

From the opening strains of her new solo album, TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA (Reprise), her first since 1994�s Street Angel, it�s clear that Nicks is once again in peak form.  �You and I will simply disappear, out of sight,� she croons on �Planets of the Universe,� somehow managing to be apocalyptic and uplifting at the same time as her reedy voice seems to shrug off its earthly bonds and fill up the cosmos.  As ever, Nicks� lyrics are the stuff of velvet-bound journals and metallic-gold pen�unicorn-bedecked bits of heartsick poetry forged in adolescence and seasoned by years of hard living, detox, emotional upheaval, fame and survival.  Accordingly, �Bombay Sapphire,� a lite-FM duet with Macy Gray (perhaps the only chanteuse with a raspier voice) is an ode not to top-shelf gin�Nicks hasn�t touched the stuff in years�but to the calming power of the sea.

On several other tracks, Nicks teams with Sheryl Crow and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, but they both seem perfectly superfluous.  Like poor Christine McVie back in the day, Nicks leaves them choking on her pixie dust.

 


This article was transcribed and sent to me by Dark Angel, with thanks


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