Fight For My Soul - Jonny Lang
**Introduction** Well I've been away from dooyoo for a few weeks and thought I had better get back into the swing of things after waiting for more things to review. Jonny Lang is one of my favourites of the current Blues crop. He's 32 but has already released six studio albums with his first release at the age of 14 although ... his second album "Lie to Me" is regarded as his big label debut. After his 1998 release "Wander this world" he took a five year hiatus before releasing his fourth album "Long time coming" and since then he has released three albums with a seven year break between his last album 2006's "Turn Around" and this new album which is the subject of this review.
**Fight for my soul**
The sixth studio album from Jonny Lang features eleven tracks and was released on 2nd September 2013, It was produced by Tommy Sims, who co-wrote Eric Clapton's "Change the World" with Babyface which incidentally won a Grammy. Every album he tries something new whilst still keeping true to his Blues feel.
1.) Blew Up (The House)
Opening up the album we have a vibrant and extremely catchy sing-along track which has some excellent melodies and a chorus that features strong backing vocals. His lead vocals are well performed and the music adds to the overall feel of the song. His guitar work towards the end blends well with his excellent falsetto to create a fine ending. It's a great start to the album and hints at the quality to come. Some great guitar work on show at the end of this track as the music shuffles along and the backing vocalists do their thing.
2.) Breakin' In
This track opens with a lovely string sequence and then has the sound of a Backstreet Boys style song which may be a surprise to new listeners but Jonny Lang is known for injecting pop melodies into his music and here he does it really well as this catchy track showcases. His vocals are well performed and expressive and the funky guitar licks aid the catchy feel of the song. The chorus is well executed and the song is a strong performer. The pounding drums that come in towards the end take the track to a different sound and then he finishes things off with a fine guitar solo. Eclectic stuff.
3.) We Are the Same
Opening with a swampy guitar lick this track has a different vibe and when Jonny's vocals come in before the pounding drums and great licks join the party you know it's a strong track. The excellent strings in the background give the sound some finesse as Jonny's vocals develop and his backing vocalists play their part well. This is a fine example of his guitar ability as he showcases some excellent playing with a couple of different sounds. An impressively catchy track.
4.) What You're Looking For
This track has a gentle opening and the drums and percussion develop the track into a well rounded ballad which has a fairly long intro. Jonny's vocals are relaxed and show a different side to his voice which shows his range. This is another strong track which has another Backstreet Boys vibe, where the previous vocal was Nick Carter like here he sounds AJ Mclean like which is an impressive range. The chorus is strong and I like the way the song develops, His guitar work tops things off really well.
5.) Not Right
One of the slower moments to start off with here we have a lovely ballad which starts gently and then the expressive vocals come in and soon the catchy drums and hooks come in with a slightly funky guitar licks. There is definitely a Prince influence at play both vocally and overall sound wise. This is a polished track which features some fine lead vocals and the backing vocals are strong too. Jonny's guitar work tops things off well with a Clapton like gentle solo which leads into a more advanced break.
6.) The Truth
This is a fantastic track which opens like a Santana track and then develops with some lovely subtle melodies as Jonny's guitar and vocals shine. It's different to the more up tempo tracks on the album and a nice change of pace in the middle of the album. The piano plays a key part in the excellent development of the song and Jonny's expressive vocals really work well with the guitar work and as the drums come in and the track is in full flow it's an impressive track all round that just has the feel of something about to explode into a great guitar solo.
This track has an old school soul feel with some catchy backing vocals and some fine guitar licks. Jonny's expressive vocals are joined by some punchy drums and fine piano work. I really like the way that this track develops and the stop start moments really add a nice touch as the track moves along. The chorus has a sing-along feel and the backing vocals are an excellent touch as is the fine guitar work towards the end of the track that just tops things off really well.
8.) Fight for My Soul
Here we have the title track from the album, It's one of the more Bluesy moments on the album and opens with some slow heartfelt vocals which are touching and expressive. The guitar sets the picture as much as the vocals and when the beats kick in with some funky bass licks you get a very catchy yet interestingly subtle sound. Jonny moves through gentle and more aggressive parts extremely well both vocally and musically. It's an excellent song which is topped off wonderfully well. This is one of the best tracks on the album.
9.) All of a Sudden
This is a beautiful laid back track with some gentle guitar and some crashing cymbals which open things up. Jonny's falsetto is again on show with a great delivery. The drums come in but stay slow and gentle as the track develops. The backing vocals are a really nice touch and Jonny's guitar work really shines as he does the subtleties so well. This is another contender for best track on the album and really showcases Jonny Lang's range as an artist.
This is another catchy track which has some excellent guitar licks and in some ways is the kind of music I feel Jeff Buckley would be doing now if he was still alive. It's a grand song with a fine orchestra and some great stop start moments which add to the overall quality. Jonny's vocals are backed up really well and his guitar work tops things off wonderfully well. A very good track indeed which again shows something different.
11.) I'll Always Be
This is the final track on the album and comfortably the longest at just over seven minutes long. The gentle opening is touching and reminds me a little of Daniel Bedingfield's fabulous "Nothing hurts like love" The sound here is more gentle though and doesn't have that crescendo that Daniel's track has but still erupts with a guitar solo. I love the way Jonny's vocals develop the song here and the music is a fine accompaniment to his vocal. The guitar work tops things off wonderfully and the orchestra is also a fine addition. It's a fantastic end to what is an excellent album.
Due to the eclectic artist that Jonny Lang is it may take a little time to "get" this album but it is worth listening to it in full as it really is a superb album which features some great tracks and his usual range of music as he fuses Blues with several genres to create a unique and very pleasing sound. When I review albums I always listen when writing the revie and listening to the album with a pair of great headphones really showcases the excellent recording of the album which is another big plus for me as I place a lot of worth on the quality of the recording as it really shows care has been taken. As I mentioned earlier there is a hint of Backstreet Boys style but also Prince and Jeff Buckley. Talk about Eclectic. It has been seven years since his last release but it's been worth the wait. Superb
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Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix Experience
Recorded during 1967 and 1968, The Jimi Hendrix Experience's classic double album Electric Ladyland reached no.6 in the UK in November 1968, with All Along The Watchtower being released as a single, making it to no.5 in October of the same year. An early single release from the album was Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, which got to no.16 ... in the UK in August 1967, and to commemorate 27-year-old Hendrix's untimely death in September 1970, a single version of Voodoo Chile was released, it almost instantly climbing to the no.1 position in November of the same year.
At the time of Electric Ladyland's release and for quite a few years afterwards, the album's cover caused some controversy as it featured images of naked women.
Amidst a few arguments between Hendrix and the production team, Electric Ladyland was finally released, comprising some of this legendary guitarist's best work. The genre is typically psychedelic-flavoured blues/rock although and overall, it has a generally less 'driving' quality than some of his other work, such as Band Of Gypsys.
Electric Ladyland opens on a very weird note, with the short track And the Gods Made Love, lasting a mere 1:21 minutes. For me, this is an ideal introduction to an album where Hendrix at times explores the deeper, darker areas of his inner musical world of psychedelic blues/rock. And The Gods Made Love isn't a track which would appeal to everybody, as some may consider it to be a disjointed noise, but listened to with a totally opened mind and appreciating it for what it is - an abstract experiment with the sounds that an electric guitar can make if used with imagination - one can see the value of its content. For me, the best way to listen to it is on headphones, as then you can get the full experience of the track, as it meanders from one side of your head to the other, running up and down the volume scale, creating a surrealistic vision of whatever your brain chooses to interpret.
As the album progresses, and although the content largely sticks within the psychedelic blues/rock genre, the mood of the music drifts between whimsical, aggressive, dreamy, sensual and mystical, with a couple of the tracks being quite long, such that they enable the listener to sink completely into them.
Listening to Electric Ladyland as a whole album for me is like taking off on some kind of cosmic journey. It has very much a mood of the night about it, but I don't necessarily mean simply when darkness falls and the stars come out.....it is something much deeper and more complex than that.
Although here and there a couple of the tracks contain some good, borderline thought-provoking lyrics - such as Crosstown Traffic and 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) -for me this is an album which focuses on and delves deeply into Jimi Hendrix's unique style of guitar playing. Some people used to say Hank Marvin made his guitar 'talk', and inside of his own genre he probably did, but Hendrix crashed through the 'popularist' barrier, turning his instrument into a medium that communicated something very much beyond the tangible, or even the ordinary....and, Electric Ladyland is a fine example of the psychedelic maestro's unique gift.
My least favourite track on this album is probably Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) in that for me, after And The Gods Made Love, it seems to take a step backwards from the initial mood created, but the balance is soon redressed. It is difficult for me to pick just one overall favourite, as it is a photo-finish between the opening track, Voodoo Chile, Long Hot Summer Night (which superbly conveys the atmosphere suggested in its title), Burning Of The Midnight Lamp and Still Raining, Still Dreaming.
Onto All Along The Watchtower! It isn't often that I find cover versions can anywhere near match the merit of the originals, but this is one case where it does happen, with Hendrix's version - quality-wise - being completely equal to that of Bob Dylan's self-penned original, although totally different in style. Whereas Bob Dylan sings his own brilliant version with folk-orientated slight angst, Hendrix belts this masterpiece out in his own unique style....delivering some brilliant guitar work, taking the song into a completely different genre and really blowing the listener's mind.
To close down this album, the track Voodoo Child from the beginning is returned to (note that first time around it is called Voodoo Chile, and second time around, Voodoo Child). On first hearing or if, dare I say, you don't 'get' Hendrix in the sense that all his guitar work sounds the same to you, this could seem like no more than a verbatim repeat of the song's first appearance on the album, but if you are attuned to Hendrix you will notice the difference immediately, in that on this 'return' piece, his guitar work becomes far more complex, drifting way out of the limits of even his own mainstream...truly making his guitar not just talk, but stand up and recite poetry.
I have always been a devout Jimi Hendrix fan right from the very first time I heard Hey Joe when I was aged just 12. I managed to instantly pick up on something in him that at the time I'd often get accused of being off the wall and weird for appreciating, but those finger-pointers agreed with me later on in time when they indulged in albums such as Electric Ladyland.
The main ingredient on this album for me is that the material, albeit within Hendrix's own self-created genre, is more varied than much of his other work and each time I listen to it, I am taken to places which are outside of the human condition in a day to day life sense, being almost impossible to explain using mere words.
However, my appreciation of Electric Ladyland is shadowed somewhat by the memory of Hendrix's tragic death at such a young age, and I can't help associating it - whenever I hear it - of that time when I saw the news headline on TV one autumn evening in 1970, whilst I was getting ready to go out.
As far as the CD sleeve is concerned, it is a little less informative than that of the vinyl album, with the cover having far less impact firstly due to it being smaller for the CD, and that time has blunted the shock factor of seeing the group of women baring their all on the sleeve artwork. There is a tracklist, together with the words of the songs and a little of Hendrix's own handwriting reproduced, but for me the important thing about Electric Ladyland is the music....sometimes earthy, sometimes floaty, mysterious, intriguing, bluesy, trippy, rock-ish and brimming over with genius guitar work from an all-time and much revered innovator.
At the time of writing, the double album Electric Ladyland can be purchased on a single CD from Amazon, as follows:-
New: from £4.47 to £20/29
Used: from £6.50 to £9.78
The album can also be purchased from Amazon in .mp3 format for a price of £5.49.
Some CDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
And The Gods Made Love
Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
Still Raining, Still Dreaming
House Burning Down
All Along The Watchtower
Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
Little Miss Strange
Long Hot Summer Night
The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
Rainy Day, Dream Away
1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
Moon, Turn The Tides...Gently, Gently Away
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
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In Your Dreams - Stevie Nicks
When Stevie Nicks announced in 2009 that a new solo album was being released in 2010, it had been 10 years since the artist had released an album and though details were sketchy to say the least, it wasn't until Dave Stewart from The Eurthymics tweeted that he was working with Stevie on a new album. All fans worldwide became quite ... excited. Whether or not it was true or not, the advent of Dave Stewart co-producing an album with Stevie Nicks was just as exciting as Stevie co-touring with another Stewart the year before, that of Rod Stewart. Whether it was for the attention of good marketing or not remains unclear, but the tour with Rod Stewart appeared to give Stevie Nicks another excuse to remain in the public eye, before jetting off to do more work with another Fleetwood Mac Tour in between considering solo work for another album.
Like many fans I was torn between buying the actual CD album or just going with new technology and buying in an mp3 download as a "Deluxe version" of the electronic download also included two videos and a bonus track that would add in 14 songs in total. After exclusively appearing on iTunes with a bonus video featuring Stewart and Nicks singing a duet on one of the songs featured on the album, the mp3 download made sense at the time rather than physically buying in a CD album and having to wait for it to arrive in the post. After all, I'm a big fan of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, and I wasn't going to wait on the post for fresh material to hit my ears!
From the download you get beautiful glossy photos of Stevie's home with photos of her as well as a black and white video. Clearly the marketing surrounding this album was to highlight the 10 years in between writing a new solo album and doing work elsewhere such as touring with Rod Stewart, the year before.
There are 12 songs on this album officially with the bonus track added on the mp3 download, "Cheaper Than Free." When the album was released in 2010, "In Your Dreams" shot to number 6 in the charts as well as selling 500,000 copies and remains to be one of Stevie's higher popularised albums since its launch, also coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Stevie's first solo album, "Bella Donna." Unlike 2001's "Trouble In Shangri-La," co-produced by Sheryl Crow, this album revisits a few old songs, but rather with a country style, plays a more hard rock motif that has been more of Stevie's trademark despite her younger years.
Later this year a planned DVD is to be released showing Stevie and Dave working on her album as well as an open-door to her home and daily life.
Track listings & External Links
The following songs are in order as per the album listings and the songs can individually be heard for free at
* I have also included some information taken from an interview with Stevie Nicks regarding the release of this album from The Guardian newspaper where the interview is well worth reading for other fans.
1. Secret Love
This is a fantastic song that is strong and well developed. Even now after two years when I bought the album, I still love listening to this song. It was actually written in 1976 intending to be another song that was shelved for Fleetwood Mac's album "Rumours." Like the far more modern "Planets of The Universe," another demo that was left off Fleetwood Mac's famous album, this song is very memorable, has a fantastic foot tapping moment but most of all, it is very well executed, not just the story line of a lady in love and her "Secret love," passions. This song was also made into a rather colourful video showing a young Stevie Nicks character morphing into her older 62-year-old self. I was quite taken with song and Dave Stewart's co-production of this song doesn't disappoint. It isn't forgettable and as such, makes a great introduction to an album that flows very neatly into the next song and thereafter.
2. For What It's Worth
We are never far away from another of Stevie's country song roots and even if it does have shades of other songs that Stevie has written over the years, it returns to the swinging pendulum of hippie like music from the 1970s with a rather reminiscent memory of "Why," by the Eurthymics that could well act as a counter melody and plenty of other ideas stemming from that song. No surprise then that the song doesn't move from its rather basic structure, helped along by clear strumming acoustic guitars and a soaring solo country electric guitar. Even from the short lyrics that move along with the formulaic rhyming at the end of each verse, it is obvious that the song is about someone who has been a bit of a touchstone to Stevie, even though in interviews regarding this album she doesn't let her side down as to who she is referring to:
"...I got to sing, I got to dance...
I got to be part of a great romance...
Still forbidden, still outrageous...
Only a few around us knew...but no one said a word, it was contagious..."
As Stevie says, "For What It's Worth, Nicks sings about a "forbidden romance that saved my life". It's not about Mick Fleetwood, she says. Rather, it refers to someone who stood by her in 1995, before the release of Fleetwood Mac's live album The Dance and after her stint in rehab for Klonopin..." *
3. In Your Dreams
Someone has been listening to the theme tune of "Friends," from the way this song begins! At first I thought it was a cover version until the song starts up properly after the guitar chord introduction. A fast rock and country fusion song that has all the hallmarks of up beat rock songs that Stevie is well known for. However it is unusual that the album shows off the title track as the third song and not the first as with most other albums. That isn't a bad thing though; Stevie seems quite comfortable to sing about "Dreams," in a different way to her number one single with Fleetwood Mac. Here, you get a good idea that whilst the song is very quick, the harmonies and intent of the conversation and story lines tells a quick tale of what the song is about.
What I do like about this song is that Stevie isn't afraid to sing up higher than her mid alto voice allows and there's some super stereophonic image and electronics that are slightly unexpected when a small bridge appears in the middle of the song and at the end. I always smile when Stevie sings "I'm just a dreamer, a story teller, it's all about you." It's like she is admitting her worth over all the songs she has written - and there are quite a few. Even though the title song is quite strong, it is too quick to offer any other strength of being memorable. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it doesn't have as much impact as the previous two songs.
4. Wide Sargasso Sea
It took me a few days to get to grips to this song because it is very unusual and has plenty of Dave Stewart-esque electronics against a rather dark guitar chorus with plenty of backing vocals in between the rock and country styles visited in between the fast "U.S Rock" drum styles. What is far better is the way the lyrics blend in with the instruments, amping up the feelings swapping sides, blaring guitar solos, damped in plenty of reverb with good tapping moments and Stevie's hall marked echoing voice dripping on the canvas towards the end of the song. Of course it has more to do with the story line which is quite strongly supported by Stevie herself and less dependency on her backing vocals. Even now as I hear the song again, it isn't one that I like listening to a lot, but rather will put up with, knowing that Stevie carries the song off with a lot of conviction. This isn't like the morbid, sorrowful B-side songs such as "Garbo," but at the same time, it is easy to see why or how "Wide Sargosso Sea," could be considered as a B-side - it has plenty of Stevie Nicks hallmarks to attract fresh, new listeners.
5. New Orleans
To my mind Stevie captures New Orleans perfectly in this song. It isn't slow and it isn't a fast rocking number, but it is impelling to listen to. Again the lyrics here are the key to this song rather than instrumentals that in the beginning are soft and hushed. Clearly more than just a song of escapism, Stevie gushes over the story of what to expect if you were to walk down Bourbon Street. Unlike so many songs in past years, Stevie mixes speech with singing quite well; we get to hear some of her roots in this song, even if it is for a brief moment. A solo violin gives a lovely accompaniment towards the end of the song, even if the usual guitars and hushed percussion with a little piano lift the gloss of this song and its content.
There are shades here of Joni Mitchell in the way Stevie sings the lyrics and yet for all these years when some of Stevie's melody lines haven't sat well with some of the musical lines in the verses, this song shows off a far better and tighter structure that works well with Stevie's lyrics. Even if for those who are musically minded and notice that she sings the chorus on each note of a broken chord, that can be forgiven for the way this little old song jollies along.
6. Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)
I love the piano ostinato ("repeated rhythm") section at the start of this rather romantic, and slightly haunting song. It has similar shades of an old song from Stevie's 1986 album "Rock A Little," called "I Sing For Things." But as this song starts to develop with Stevie's voice dampened up with reverb and a few echoes, it is clear that this song is going to offer much more impact than just its sparse beginning.
It isn't far from some of the songs that Dave Stewart has written for The Eurthymics. That's not a bad thing - Moonlight is far from original on the way this song starts to build up with typical Dave Stewart like string keyboards, electro-synths that pepper and add a little atmosphere and building up with soaring and weeping electric guitars that give this song much more presence. It is very clear that the story line paints a girl suffering from the love of a vampire and the metaphor of moonlight signalling that her love can be reunited. It may well emphasize Stevie's love of the "Twilight" TV series or films that inspired her to write the song, but the song's lyrics are well written that provide much scope for the way this song develops, not just
But in the chorus, a string ensemble provides the real strings that amps up the song extremely well and sits well with Stevie's voice. All in all, there is so much more I could say about this song, but it would ruin the mystery of this song. The lyrics are beautifully created to illustrate a love between a victim and a vampire - but it could be so poetically based on real love between Stevie's past loves too.
7. Annabel Lee
Just before this album was released and when Stevie took it upon herself to let the world know she was alive, she released images of a plastic doll in a birdcage and called it doll "Annabel Lee," on Twitter. Stevie has a good sense of humour but quite what the fans made of the image, I was never quite sure and I, myself ("if I do so say, myself") chose to go along with the story of who Annabel Lee is. Whoever she is, maybe a pseudonym that Stevie Nicks has always used to describe herself, eventually appears in this song as the "Annabel Lee," character from the same titled last poem written by Edgar Allan Poe, the famous poet that Stevie does give credit to in this album on the track notes.
The poem charts the death of a beautiful woman and about love that goes beyond the grave. This song basically tells or shows the inspiration behind the poem. But as such as the song is well developed, even if it does tend to drag on, it isn't long before Stevie compares herself to Annabel Lee.
Instrumentally the song has the usual instruments heard on other songs but again strings have been used here to amp up the romanticism of this song including solo violin and it does work quite well, appearing as a rather powerful song on its own accord. Although this song isn't a favourite of mine, it does show Stevie's older voice here and the changes in her voice as the years go by. Take away some of the echoes in this song, and she seems to sound much better as time goes on.
8. Soldier's Angel
Sadly I'm not a fan of this song. Almost like a classical "tone poem," the song is bare and sparse, with a continuous narrative story. Revisiting demos and other songs written under the period of Buckingham Nicks, the recording quality of this song appears to have been recorded live and though I appreciate it, it isn't a song for the faint hearted. With no surprise to find Lindsey singing back up in this song as well as his trademark guitar that starts the song off and develops. Despite the romantic gesture offered up in "Annabel Lee," where the envious Angels are referred to, Stevie yet again writes a song with the word "Angel," in it and tells the story about her involvement of charity work she has undertaken with many of the U.S Military.
Shades of it had already begun in the earlier song "Desert Angel," featured as a B-side on the Greatest Hits, "Timespace" of 1991. Both songs have a similar feeling when looking back at that song in particular, and it seems to me that "Soldier's Angel," is the mirror image of "Desert Angel," sparse and empty with just electric guitar flowing and Lindsey & Stevie's voices wrapped up together, once again after all these years, working well. Lyric wise, Stevie just sings about examples of how to be an angel and how she has been an angel to soldiers.
9. Everybody Loves You
So different from the last and what a relief! Now this is a great song, even if there are some electro synths at the start that give no clue whatsoever what is about to develop or be introduced.
I love this song but it appears to be rather different to what has gone on before in the rest of the album. Had Stewart delivered more of an abundance of electro-synths in the rest of the album, this song would probably blend in quite well. Instead, "Everybody Loves You," doesn't really sound like a song that Stevie could write on her own, even though the verse lyrics have been based on Stevie's journals of her life and not of much surprise to find in interviews that the music and chorus had been written by Dave Stewart, alone, reminiscent of his relationship with Annie Lennox *.
As Stevie says from the Guardian interview... "And the reason Dave wrote the chorus the way he did was because of his relationship with Annie Lennox. So we had two duos. Dave understood. He's the same way with Annie - 'Everybody loves you... no one really knows you, I'm the only one' - I'm the only one that knew you before you were famous. So I let the song go ahead and be about Lindsey, and he let the song be about Annie."
Naturally then, both Stevie and Dave sing together but not in the country style of harmonies that Stevie have done before. It adds a little interest but the song has much more powerful instrumentals here rather than the necessity to over develop and add vocal harmonies that Stevie has enhanced before. There's also a signature sound of an electric guitar that only Dave Stewart could add himself and on the whole this song is a lovely song to listen to, even if it is worlds away from the more vocal based harmonies in other songs that Stevie Nicks has done before.
10. Ghosts Are Gone
And it isn't before long when Stevie revisits a fast rocking number! This song has a great start and a great vocal beginning. It doesn't wilt, either but remains strong, defiant and very powerful right to the end. With plenty of shades of ZZ Top about it, this song is made to be amped up and made to be listened to, whether you like it or not.
A song of revenge perhaps but one that needs to be listened to over and over to get the general secret of what this song is about and there's plenty of similarities here to past songs by The Eurthymics, but only towards the end. No surprise to find then that the song is written by Dave Stewart, but it works well with Stevie's lyrical lines. I could never imagine Annie Lennox singing this! Evidently from the last which is sorrowful and a duet, this is more of a solo voice battling against the powerful electric guitars that are awash in this song. Stevie isn't afraid to let herself go in this song, even though there's a certain feeling of a wind blasting out the imagery of "ghosts are gone." Live versions of this song on You Tube indicate a much faster, rougher and up beat tempo. Here however, the song doesn't really need it - my speakers are filled with the sounds of guitars aplenty and a good thumping bass line - good hallmarks of a good rock song that isn't too heavy.
It is also great to hear Mick Fleetwood play drums in this song - you can tell it is him from his trademark rock beats - and it could so be a song by Fleetwood Mac - as a result.
11. You May Be The One
In the same way that "Somebody Stand By Me," by Sheryl Crow gave fans an insight of a slow country swing song with Stevie at the helm, here we get the same again with a beautiful song with some lovely lyrics, even if they aren't that memorable. Sheryl Crow doesn't write the song this time - it is the work of Dave Stewart. But then, it could well be the hand of Stevie as there are plenty of hallmarks here, not just by the beautifully romantic lyrics. This is a lovely little song that could have come from the hand of Stevie in her younger years. It certainly has a timeless feeling.
Although the vocal harmonies are very country like, there are shades of Tom Petty here in the way the choruses come together.
12. Italian Summer
An unusual song towards the end of this album because even by the title itself, the romantic, dreamy like quality that Stevie is known for takes on a new form where the dreamy, romanticism of her fluttering heart pour out in the story line of the lyrics. But oh what a song! Beautifully rising and dipping with strings and full instrumentals doesn't let this song down. The verses and choruses may follow a generic route but the lyrics are typically romantic and Stevie sings the song well, even if the verses appear rather short before the obvious chorus comes in. This song is all about building - building up the climax of Stevie's voice and the climax of the story line. At its most basic, it's a song of escapism, escaping to a holiday destination perhaps, revisiting similarities to the previous song "New Orleans."
13. Cheaper Than Free
A short duet of love and friendship between Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart. This time it's a proper duet, no unison "same again" vocal lines between octaves but rather proper harmonies that sound lovely with a little bit of gloss and with the same kind of backing vocals that Stevie has contributed well to over the years,. Amidst from the more magical music she has done with Fleetwood Mac, "Cheaper Than Free," isn't a throwaway track but it isn't the most important on the album either, and unlike so many farewell songs, this one is quite powerful, worlds away from the solo acoustic guitar strumming away with Stevie soaring away at the mic. This time, it is all change but the song itself is quite short and you'd miss the whole point of the song and its lyrical content. The song is powerful though, a heavy rock beat strung over long pedal bass notes and some hard hitting lyrics, even though for the most part the main melody line appears from the electric guitar.
14. (Bonus Track) "My Heart"
On deluxe albums, the extra track appears as the 8th song on the album. It's an upbeat song, quite like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with plenty of stereophonic acoustic strumming guitars in between some really beautiful rock and country inspired harmonies. It is worth the extra download to real fans, but for everyone else, it isn't a very important track, though it could well appear on a future Fleetwood Mac album.
Stevie sings the music here quite high up in her voice but this song sounds like a very early demo, well it could be from her days of starting out as a solo artist. But, it is the hand of Dave Stewart again; even if there are some stylistic moments from the way the guitars continually play out the main melody and main theme of the song. Though the lyrics are quite romantic and yet again play out another story, they sometimes get lost with the increasing need to move to the chorus. Now, if Stevie had been given the reign to write this song properly, she'd have drawn out the verses more rather than rush to the chorus all too quickly.
Generally, even without the bonus track or bonus video of "Cheaper Than Free," with Dave Stewart, "In Your Dreams," by Stevie Nicks is an album that was worth waiting for. Fans have not been disappointed and I can see why. Here is an album with quite a few gems and some songs that give Stevie an extra dimension to her craft. There are plenty of themes of love played out here, which is typical of Stevie Nicks as well as songs that reminisce and have you wondering who she is singing about. This time however, there are very few electronics that have been added to push Stevie's older voice out to the main frame of the stage. This time you get to hear an older Stevie Nicks singing as if you were to hear her sing live - or quite literally - in your dreams - and compared to "Trouble in Shangri-La," In Your Dreams is quite simply one of Stevie's best solo albums yet! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2013.
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