Stevie Nicks, she of Fleetwood Mac, the mystical witch persona, and with a loyal fan base, released the seventh studio album of her 30-year solo career, May 3, 2011. It was her first studio album since Trouble In Shangri La and quickly proved that her popularity remained intact, as it reached number six on the Billboard Magazine Pop Album Chart.
In Your Dreams was produced by veteran Glen Ballard and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame. Stewart co-wrote, with Nicks; seven of the album’s 13 tracks. Also on hand are Waddy Wachtel, Steve Ferrone, Mike Campbell, Mike Rowe, and Michael Bradford, plus the usual guest star appearances.
Nicks seems to have been very involved, as she wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks. The album lacks cohesiveness, however, as the music does not fall into any one style. Despite the music traveling in diverse directions, it is an excellent listen and proves there is still some life left in the “Gold Dust Woman.”
There are a lot of musical styles and forms to like here. “Secret Love” is an upbeat song that was issued as a successful single. She originally composed the song for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album but it failed to make the final cut. She followed this pop creation with the gentle folk of “For What It’s Worth.”
You can’t have a Stevie Nicks album without a doomed relationship and the title song fills that role well. On the other hand, “New Orleans” looks back at her leather, lace, and feathers days. “Soldier’s Angel” expresses her thoughts about war but it is Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar work that stands out.
The album’s most interesting track was “Annabel Lee.” She effectively uses Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry as a part of her lyrics. Poe died at the age of 40 during 1849 and now his name returns as the co-writer of a Stevie Nicks song 162 years later.
The album’s best track is “Italian Summer.” It is one of those seductive love ballads that Nicks is so good at creating. The strings give it a full sound and Nicks proves that her voice can still hit notes that are unreachable to others.
I have the feeling that Stevie Nicks basically recorded material that pleased her, which ultimately gives the album its charm. Her new album may not be of the overall quality of Bella Donna or The Wild Heart but that’s okay, as it is a mature work, which stands on its own and contains a lot of good music. Stevie Nicks is now 63 and In Your Dreams proves she is aging well.