Saturday, August 06, 2011

Tuning In/Out to Stevie Nicks, In Your Dreams

The long. hot. horrible. summer of 2011 continues, and Roxie's World is working hard to ignore it. Why? Because we don't have any economists or climate scientists on staff, and political prognostication is really just kind of a hobby for us. Besides, we figure our legions of smarty-pants loyal fans know where to go to get their fill of bummer-inducing news and analysis and come here to get little dribs and drabs of health and happiness to try to keep their glasses close to half full while they wait patiently for the handbasket to come whisk them away to Hell. Which should happen, like, any minute now, don't you think?

We'll return to more serious programming over the next few weeks as the Moms shift into Back-to-School mode. (Srsly, kids, I swear: Moose is not going to turn this into a health, food, and fitness blog, recent appearances notwithstanding.) Meantime, let's indulge in a little musical interlude to wile away a cloudy summer evening.

Stevie Nicks released her first solo album in ten years a few months ago. It's called In Your Dreams, and it's been in extremely heavy rotation in Roxie's World ever since it arrived. It's a smooth, tight record, as dreamy as its title would lead you to expect, with 13 songs written by Nicks and, mostly, producer Dave Stewart. Nicks' voice is in fine form. The singer is 62, and you can hear the marks of time and experience on a voice one reviewer described as having "steely sides, but its center is worn and approachable, like su├Ęde." Perfect.

In Your Dreams doesn't break new ground, lyrically or musically, but it comfortably mines the emotional, intuitive terrain Nicks knows so well. Moose has a soft spot for "Cheaper Than Free," a sweet celebration of love in which Nicks' and Stewart's middle-aged voices blend to give rich texture to the admittedly sappy words -- but, hey, high passion is demonstrably better than high fashion. Both moms are keen on "Wide Sargasso Sea," a hard-rocking synopsis of Jean Rhys' novel, and "Annabel Lee," a lush adaptation of one of Poe's creepy/beautiful poems on the allure of a dead woman. These two exercises in feminist criticism induced Moose to describe In Your Dreams as the album you always wished Gilbert and Gubar had made.

And you did always wish that, didn't you? Isn't that how everybody got through the 80s? In any case, treat yourself to In Your Dreams. It will mix well with all those other albums by husky-voiced wise women that are rattling around in your record machine. We'll play you off with "Annabel Lee," because that's the cut Goose has been passing along to all the 19th-century poetry geeks in her acquaintance. Take it away, Stevie.

6 comments:

  1. You really like Stevie Nicks? Her singing makes me want to stab my fucken ears out with a rusty nail file dipped in anthrax.

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  2. A chacun son gout, as our mutual, French-speaking friend Historiann might put it, CPP. To each his/her own taste, right? I feel sorry for your ears, and for my head, now that you have put that extremely painful image in it, but, yes, we do love us some Stevie Nicks and a whole bunch of other alto chick singers who appear to bring discomfort to various parts of your body. (Remember last summer's discussion of Carole King? I'm too lazy to find the link, but as I recall you threatened to do quite excruciating things to your wee-wee maker in the course of that illuminating exchange.)

    Vive la difference, mon ami. Vive la difference.

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  3. Anonymous5:11 PM EDT

    Thank pic of SN has to be 30 years old, or ooops, she's done it again. I love the G and G comment.

    Greetings from Spain, where I am being mauled regularly by the cat I'm sitting.

    Rosemary

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  4. Yes, this IS the album we wish Gilbert & Gubar had made! Rosemary, you gotta get it -- you'll LOVE IT. My 19cent poetry geeks all agree that Nicks' habitation of, her admiration for, the ballad form, and putting a good twenty-first century twist on it, as well as on the "we go so wild loving dead women, especially a beautiful dead bride" sense of Poe's original are just pure rock & roll poetic joy.

    Thanks Rox for blogging about this! PhysioProf--have you listened to this? When I was so much older than I am now, I was way too cool even to give her a listen. Sure would've been cheatin' myself with this one had I stayed so wise. . . .

    Perhaps the cat will calm down with a listen to this album, R!

    Enjoy, comrades!
    --Goose

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  5. I totally love listening to alto chick singers!

    Poly Styrene is my favorite:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGcWtPOL6aQ

    Vanessa Briscoe is also totally awesome:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOSARRZiC2g

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  6. I love Stevie Nicks and her utterly unique warble. I also love her because she really is a good songwriter who has gotten knocked and downgraded by the male music power structure all her life. Yeah perhaps it was bad karma for her to turn into such a crazy coke head for so many years...kind of punched holes in her fortune and her range. That said, I think Stevie was always a girl's girl artistically and men can't quite get how great she is. Good choice Roxie.

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