"This is Stevie's last studio album of the 1980's. It follows the strained effort "Rock A Little" where it is evident Stevie is struggling to find her voice. She is in between producers and this results in a good, yet inconsistent album.The highlights include her last Top 20 hit, "Rooms On Fire," with its breathy bewitching vocal and sentiments was my personal favorite. "Doing The Best That I Can" is a solid effort in which the listener can really hear the drama involving Stevie's struggle to overcome her substance abuse problems. "Two Kinds Of Love" is a beautiful saccharine duet with the great Bruce Hornsby that works. "Alice" is the brilliant chronicle of her personna exploring the "other side of the mirror." "Ghosts" is yet another classic. "Ooh My Love" is a chilling masterpiece.As for the other tracks..."Long Way To Go" is a bit repetitive. "Cry Wolf" reeks of boredom. "Whole Lotta Trouble" is a track that mysteriously appears on her greatest hit compilations and in concerts which I do not find worthy. "Fire Burning" is a half baked country song. "Juliet is decent, but comes on a bit too strong. The Johnny Cash "I Still Miss Someone" was not necessary to cover.Nevertheless, this is a good album, but clearly not the best representation of the artist."
Different sound's not bad, but with more filler
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 10/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The world had to wait four whole years for Stevie Nicks to come up with the followup to 1985's Rock A Little. Inbetween that time, she did an album with Fleetwood Mac, 1987's Tango In The Night. When she recorded The Other Side Of The Mirror, it was not with Rick Nowels producing, but rather Rupert Hine, the man behind Tina Turner's Private Dancer, although Nowels does co-writing and guitar on some tracks. There is a change in sound, but the air of mystery, enigmatic lyrics, and veiled scarves are still there.The first single "Rooms On Fire" is a mid-paced affair and displays the familiar man of dreams who comes in briefly and exits, much to the woman's regret. The synth keyboards, some of which shimmer and get mixed with the bass heavy rhythm section, demonstrate a new sound Nicks gets into.The pace picks up on "Long Way To Go" which has a distinctive bass, on an imagined conversation between another lover of whom she says, "obsessive was my love." She says, "I thought we already did that [said goodbye]. Have fun tell the world."Her duet with Bruce Hornsby on "Two Kinds Of Love" is ballad awash in keyboards/guitar instrumentation, and Kenny G has a brief but decent sax solo here. Dual nature is a theme here, the Widow and the Dove, "outraged at each other...[but] engaged to each other in their hearts." The two kinds of love are "one for the way you walk/one for the way you love me.""Ooh My Love" has a steady bass and rhythm guitar sound similar to John Waite's "Missing You" and that would later show up in Heart's "All I Wanna Do". This is a reminsicence of an emotional fragile woman who sees her "castles fall down" by a man of her dreams, with whom an affair was had, and later. "Yes, it was a strain on her/watching her castles fall down/Oh...but there was a time when he called her 'angel'/Where in the world did you come from?" she sings wistfully.The melodic, aural, and slow-paced "Ghosts" has Heartbreakers shades of another fragile one whose fear of being burned leads to escapism in music, because "Well just the ghost of what you want to be/And the ghost of the past that you live in/It's the ghost of the future that you're so frightened of/So you turn to your guardian angel." That chorus really hits home with me.I was surprised that the chugging, stomping, brass-heavy "Whole Lotta Trouble" became a single, because it lacks the kind of rhythmic oomph or emotional pulling power.There's yet another woman living in the illusion of passion in "Fire Burning", with slight overtones of "Gypsy". "There's no fire burning...just a soul crying", she sings. Terrible to contemplate. Her cover of Laura Branigan's "Cry Wolf" from Touch is a retread, but it's a song that was clearly made for Branigan. This is a contrast to her tenderly done cover of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone".Alice in Wonderland references abound in "Alice", as in "Alice through the looking glass" and the title of this album. and the enigmatic "Juliet" about a wandering gypsy has that "Missing You" beat. The quiet "Doing The Best That I Can" is the third Nicks song my NMSU roommate used to sing out loud to, and is yet another lonely grieving woman whose overwhelming control sundered the relationship. "In my distress...well I wanted someone to blame me/In my devastation...I wanted so to change," she sings.The harder-edged sound present in Rock A Little has been stripped away. She also gets help from Fixx guitarist Jamie West-Oram, who also did guitar on Tina Turner's Private Dancer. Despite the change in producers, some common elements remain. The backup singers of Lori Perry, actually Lori Perry-Nicks, and Sharon Celani, are still there. But there is more filler or songs that rely more on sound, and the cryptic lyrics become more eccentric than interesting. Still, it's good to see that Nicks doing her own brand of lovelorn music as opposed to her time with Fleetwood Mac."
This CD changed my life
Daniel J. Hamlow | 08/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wouldn't usually write a review, but this CD really changed my life. The song "Juliet" helped me make a very important decision...when i needed help.The poetry here...the sound...the songs. This album is Nick's masterpiece. No Tom Petty here to carry the day. I feel like Stevie really opened up her diary for this one... And i really love "Doing the Best I Can." That song is right up there in the masterpiece bracket along with "beauty and the beast" and "storms""
Anonymous | Cincinnati, OH USA | 05/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a different album for Stevie Nicks because it was produced by somebody different: Ruper Hine. (all 3 of her previous albums were produced by Jimmy Iovine.) This is really a great album and it was released in the spring of 1989. This contains some of her strongest material, like the hit "Rooms On Fire" which peaked at #16 during the summer of 1989, and is really awesome, and "Ooh My Love", which is really sad, and the haunting "Ghosts". "Juliet" is a good song and is very strong, too. "Alice" is a good interpretation of the famous Lewis Caroll tale of "Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass", which is really the whole theme of the album. "Two Kinds of Love" is pretty weak, just like "Cry Wolf". "Doing The Best That I Can" is about Stevie's drug problems, "Whole Lotta Trouble" is just plain rock n' roll fun, and "Long Way To Go" is an angry song. One of the really cool facts about this album is that it was actually recorded in a castle. Buy this album if you are looking for a different direction for Stevie and if you want some of her most exciting, and dramatic material."
"Run for your life cried the mad hatter"
C. J. Hormann | Wellington, New Zealand | 07/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The mistress of lace, ribbons and bows and and ever so slightly kooky outlook on life has produced an album of great pop songs that wouldn't look too out of place in her other part-time job for Fleetwood Mac. Lyrically she inhabits the same world as ever - castles in the air, rooms on fire - but that is the charm of Nicks' work. Musically she has written songs that deserve to be great hits - the storming "Whole Lotta Trouble", the joyous "Ooh My Love" and the countrified jangle of "Fire Burning". Her ballads also deserve respect with "Alice" being a standout - all Lewis Carroll imagery and throaty longing. If you were looking for a Stevie Nicks album to start your collection then this is a great starter."