Trouble in Shangri-La
Praise Gaea! My gem stones, incense and magical amulets are at the ready. All I need is the latest from the white witch with the deviated septum. Why is Miss Fairy Dance pouting on the album artwork—didn’t she just make millions on the repackaged Mac tour? Plus she shed the extra weight that our national media outlets jumped on like crazed dingoes.
On her first solo release since 1994, the “legendary rock poet"—if your idea of poetry is the “Enchanted Unicorn” teen series—relies on her smoky voice and back-up maidens-in-waiting (featuring special appearances from disciple Sheryl Crow on five of the 13 pop tracks). Afro-funkstress Macy Gray gets busy on “Bombay Sapphire"—a half-gallon of which would have helped me in listening to this. Mystical atmospherics—New Age keyboards, Caribbean-lite rhythms and top-dollar overdubs—exude from this album like boxcars of crumbling feta cheese. Still, a couple of songs will undoubtedly be radio/video hits (my money is on the syrupy single “Every Day,” which could have been called “Theme to the Next Gweneth Paltrow Movie").
Nicks sounds fine without the glittering production values when she uses honest acoustic accompaniment or an ordinary electric band (she’s got great bluegrass potential). Still, her maudlin "every day I need you" lyrical content is akin to the black-light posters of ‘70s pre-teens. Don’t get me wrong—I can’t hate on Stevie too much—she’s got a classic voice, and in the ‘70s I told sweet lies while making out on the hood of my Camaro and listening to "Landslide" just like everybody else, right? Hello?