Cameron Ashley H. from LACEY, WA Reviewed on 3/28/2007...
Classic Stevie Nicks voice--timeless.
Erick C. (Erick) from EDMOND, OK Reviewed on 10/26/2006...
Received as a gift, not a big Stevie Nicks fan, but a decent listen in my mind.
Stevie Nicks, Pure and Simple
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 10/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a stunning career with Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s, Stevie Nicks emerged as one of the hottest solo acts of the music industry in the 1980s with BELLA DONNA and THE WILD HEART. But although she scored a memorable success with Fleetwood Mac on 1987's TANGO IN THE NIGHT, after 1985 the quality of her solo work began to decline. 1989's THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR offered the memorable "Rooms on Fire" but was disappointing as a whole, and of 1994's STREET ANGEL the less said the better. Her occasional performances with Fleetwood Mac aside, it seemed that her glory days as a solo act were far behind.Then in 2001 Nicks quietly released TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA. Working with what seemed a different producer on almost every cut and drawing in supporting talent from the likes of Cheryl Crowe, Nicks stripped herself of her past personas. Gone was Rhiannon, gone was the Welsh Witch, the Gypsy. Gone were the third person lyrics, the ethereal notes, the hard rock flourishes. TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA was Stevie Nicks, pure and simple and unadorned. Quite a lot of her long-time fans, who would have preferred Nicks to remain in her Bella Donna persona forever, balked. But quite a few people who had never been fans suddenly reappraised her. And when all was said and done, Nicks garnered some of the finest critical praise of her long career and picked up a Grammy nomination in the process.Opening with a solid rocker on the title cut, TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA finds Nicks remarkably unpretentious and completely devoid of the self-indulgence that made THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR such a disappointment and STREET ANGEL such a disaster. Her voice, always a delicate instrument, has changed, and the high notes are gone and the lower notes have become deeper still--but at both extremes it now possesses an unexpectedly dark richness of tone. Both it, and the emotional tones of her performance, are those of a mature woman in full command of her talents.Some have complained that there is not really a "hit single" track on this album, and in a sense that is true--nothing here jumps ahead of the pack. But that is not because the music is weak; rather, it is because it is all so consistently good. And throughout the entire collection the overall sound creates a somewhat hypnotic quality that gradually draws you deeper and deeper into the artist's skills. Because of this, it would be extremely difficult to pinpoint any one single selection for singular praise; I will say, however, that I find "It's Only Love" particularly fine.When I first sat down to listen to this recording I found myself completely surprised by Nicks' overall approach, which is considerably more disciplined than anything she has previously offered. I was not immediately enthusiastic and I set the recording aside--only to find myself drawn to it again and again, and with each listening discovering more and more in it. And I now think of this as quite possibly Stevie Nicks best overall solo release. Whatever the case, it is certainly her most subtle and most complex effort to date.I had the pleasure of seeing Fleetwood Mac on the SAY YOU WILL tour, and while Nicks did not perform any of the selections from this album (the only selection of her solo work she offered was a knock-out "Stand Back"), I found her live performance with the band very similar in tone to TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA: completely unaffected with the focus on the music itself. After some three decades of stardom and one of the most jolting personal roads imaginable, at the end of the day Stevie Nicks has become a musician in her own right. And in an industry that spawns so few of them, that is the highest compliment any one can offer a rock star. The bell has a deeper tone, and it tolls with a more measured note, but it still "rings through the night." Rock on, my lady, rock on.--GFT, Amazon Reviewer--"
Stevie Nicks, Witchy Songstress
Gregory Evan Binstock | Lutherville, MD United States | 05/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Witchy Woman who first twirled her way, scarf-ensconced, to center stage as the smoky vocals behind Fleetwood Mac, has once again proven why she is an American Rock Icon with her latest album, Trouble In Shangri-La. In her first solo attempt since 1994's Street Angel, Nicks has been busy brewing this album for some time now. She has been constantly writing songs and lyrics into her journal, and waiting to go into the studio when the time was right. It was well worth the wait. After recently completing a Fleetwood Mac reunion tour, she took to the studio armed with a diary of songs and a musical entourage with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray, and Sarah McLachlan. The product is the unquestionably hypnotizing and varied new project from Ms. Nicks, which is sure to please old-time Stevie fans, as well as new listeners hearing her on the radio for the first time. The best songs on the album are, unsurprisingly, those penned by Nicks herself. No one has been able to pinpoint Nicks' vocal strengths as well as she has. She is a true writer-singer, and sounds most at ease with her own pieces. The title track, and opener of the album, gives us an immediate healthy dose of this straight away. Written and produced by Nicks, and with the vocal backing of longtime Stevie-chanteuses Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks, "Trouble in Shangri-La" is a song with ethereal vocal layering and precise instrumentation. Likewise, the mesmerizing track "Planets of the Universe" is as otherworldly as its title suggests. This track will please the die-hard Fleetwood Mac fans, who still hear echoes of Stevie's heart-wrenching vocals on hits like the insatiable "Rhiannon" and "Silver Springs." In the latter, Nicks proclaimed in the song's ending, "I follow you down 'till the sound / Of my voice will haunt you / You'll never get away from the sound / Of the woman who loves you." In "Planets," Nicks promises that same endless torture, acting again as an uncompromising predictor, "You will never love again / The way you love me / You will never rule again / The way you ruled me / You will never change again / The way you're changing."While the true-blue Nicks songs are brilliant, this album is undeniably a joint effort. Stevie's collaboration shines through in this album, and helps to give each track a unique vibe. Her duet with larger-than-life Macy Gray is particularly noteworthy. How is it possible for Stevie to find a duettist with as much sassy scratch as she has? Well, she did, with Miss Gray. The two croon together in a surprisingly soothing blend on the exotic track, "Bombay Sapphires." Stevie said of Gray in a press release, "She's like a walking tornado. She's a total blast. We had a great time working on the song." A surprise-hit on the album is Nicks' work with Dixie Chick Natalie Maines. While their joint effort could have produced a lackluster country song, they instead created a country-injected rock tune, "Too Far From Texas," featuring a potent harmony of the two songstresses.Most remarkable of the collaborations, however, is Stevie's partnership with Sheryl Crow. While Crow's two songs written for Stevie remain some of the album's weakest, it is her work on production and concept that helped make the album a cohesive and expressive effort. Nicks has said of Crow, "Our connection is deep... deeper than I can even put into mere words," and Crow has returned the sentiment, stating, "To even be in the same room with Stevie was a dream come true for me. To work with her was beyond description. It was extraordinary." Their mutual admiration helped to form the album's overall structure and consistency.While Crow did her share of production, a large amount was in the hands of John Shanks, who also wrote one of the album's catchiest hits, the radio-happy "Every Day."Appropriately, Nicks ends her album with the contemplative and wistful song, "Love Is." Detailed with a potpourri of instrumentation and vocal backing from Sarah McLachlan, it serves not only as the album's most expressive piece, but also as a reminder that you've been reading pages torn from the diary of a quiet artist.In a time where very few artists write the music they perform, it is a gem when someone does it and does it well. With Shangri-La, Stevie Nicks has taken a comfortable seat in a throne of legendry. Since the early 1970's, Stevie has compelled us with her evocative vocal prowess and songwriting, and we can only be a captive audience, and hope that she continues to share with her talents with us."
The Siren Of "Shangri-La" Returns......Better Than Ever!
Jef Fazekas | Newport Beach, California United States | 05/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like most everyone else, I think "TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA" is the best, and most complete, album Stevie Nicks has recorded since 1981's "BELLA DONNA." Unlike most people, though, I think it's even better than her solo debut. While "BELLA DONNA" was the ultimate in studio sheen perfection, it lacked the depth and warmth and humanity that just exudes from "TROUBLE IN SHANGRI-LA." Mind you, as a life-long Nicks fan, I had just about given up on her after 1994's lackluster "STREET ANGEL" and the disasterous tour that accompanied it. That's why I'm so happy to see her come roaring back in such fine form. So, sit back and enjoy this review.....like Julia Roberts at the Oscars, I'm taking my time with this one; "TROUBLE..." is such a strong release that the only way to approach it is as a complete package, song by song! Opening the CD is the smooth, silky title track, with it's slightly haunting chorus of "I run through the grass/I run over the stones (in those boots?!?)/Down to the sea" and it's chilling lyrics ("You can consume all the beauty in the room, baby/I know you can, I've seen you do it"). Up next is "Candlebright", a classic acoustic strummer that would fit on any one of Nicks' solo albums. It's amazing to think a song written over 30 years ago could stand the test of time and sound this fresh, but I guess that's the sign of a true artist. One of the highpoints of "TISL", "Sorcerer" is amazing on so many levels. While it's easy to dismiss the song as typical Nicks airy-fairyness, take the time to go a little deeper...With it's strumming acoustic guitars and rhythmic backbone, "Sorcerer" finds Nicks hitting high notes she hasn't hit in years, if ever. It's just another example of the fact that Stevie Nicks is "back!" "Planets Of The Universe" is also classic Nicks. With elements of both "Rhiannon" and "Nightbird" in it, the song creeps along, building, then exploding. Mark my word.....this track will give "Stand Back" and "Edge Of Seventeen" a run for their money in concert! I was a little wary about "Every Day" as "TROUBLE..."'s first single but, after a few listens, the track's simplicity has won me over. There's a swaying magic to it.....hearing Nicks sing "Imagine all the ways to cope/I close my eyes, that gives me hope" in an almost a cappella whisper is, quite honestly, both breath-taking and heart-breaking. Another major success is "Too Far From Texas." Cowritten by Sandy Stewart (when is she going to do another record?!?), this track will be an across-the-board smash on both the AC and pop charts, and may very well cross over to the country charts. Nicks and Dixie Chicker Natalie Maines blend perfectly together, and with a band that includes Mike Campbell, Sheryl Crow and Benmont Tench backing them, well, you can't get much better than this! What is known as "Side Two" on the tape opens with the hip-swaying, slightly psychedelic "That Made Me Stronger", an autobiographical song inspired by Tom Petty. Probably the most representative of where Nicks is now in her life, it ends with the words "Everything has changed now/And I don't want to go back/And nothing you can say can change my mind." Then there's the Sheryl Crow-penned "It's Only Love." With it's stripped-down instrumentation, simple arrangement and hushed vocal, this is one of the most nakedly honest and touching songs Nicks has ever recorded. It's simply lovely. Next up is "Love Changes", with it's boarderline dance/rap sensibility, and "I Miss You", another sweetly acoustic track that just seems to float out of the speakers. "Bombay Sapphires" is probably "TISL"'s weakest track, but it still has a nice third world/rock vibe to it (even if Macy Gray's backing vocals are all but nonexistant). Wrapping up the CD are two more of it's strongest tracks. "Fall From Grace" is another autobiographical rocker that, reminiscent of Tom Petty's "I Need To Know", is sure to win Nicks her first (and long overdue!) Female Rock Vocal Grammy. Closing out the CD is the gorgeous "Love Is." Buoyed by Sarah McLachlan's piano and haunting backing vocals, Nicks just shines here. Always known for closing her albums on a strong note - O.K., we won't mention "STREET ANGEL" and "Jane!" - Nicks keeps the tradition alive with this tender track. In closing, a lot of people will want to compare "TISL" with Santana's "SUPERNATURAL." Fine.....it is a similar formula; Nicks has created an album with some of today's hottest young talent, yet retained her own identity. And, yes, she may be similarly lucky come Grammy time. But "TISL" is so much more. It's the work of an artist many people had written off as recently as five years ago. It's the work of an artist who managed to come back fresher and more vibrant than ever. It's the work of an artist who's sure to be in the running for my Album of the Year. In short, it's the work of an artist......and, quite simply, a masterpiece."
Stevie returns in top form
anthemic | Australia | 05/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stevie Nicks is the foremost 'Queen of Rock and Roll' - there is no doubt of that. Janis Joplin, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, and Debbie Harry did not have prolific and long careers as Ms Nicks who continues to weave magic upon her loyal fans. After the somewhat disappointing and lacklustre 'Street Angel' - Stevie has returned to the form that will make fans rejoice. In fact, looking and sounding awesome - she is better than ever. Some songs are new, some old, and other renditions of previously released material. The central core that bounds this album is the acoustic guitar with a generated pace that is slower than past efforts. 'Sorcerer' formerly released on the 'Streets of Fire' soundtrack and sung by sometime back-up vocalist, Marilyn Martin, - has the rock edge taken off it and becomes a duet with Sheryl Crow. Their musical partnership coming in second to that of Lindsey Buckingham. While there are so many good tracks on this release, 'Fall From Grace' is the bombshell, for which, you should prepare yourself to be blown away. It is reminiscent of Stevie's live performance of 'No Spoken Word' from the Red Rocks concert video. 'Its Only love' has that Buckingham Nicks album feel and again re-iterates the prominence of the acoustic guitar. Its simply stunning and makes you crave the official CD release of that album. Other goodies are 'Planets of the Universe', 'Everyday', and the country-ish 'Too Far From Texas' which so suits Stevie's style. You'll find yourself swaying to that one. Buy this CD and play it loud all Summer long."
Nicks: Sure To Score Gold w/ 1st Collection in 7 Years
saturnspy | Kentwood, MI USA | 05/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stevie Nicks has always been a mystical force to be reckoned with in the Rock Industry. Her lyrics are poignant, introspective, and interladen with mysticism; Her voice strong, defiant, independant, soothing and at the same time lulling. The years have seen many of Nicks' multiple facets. Whether it be with Fleetwood Mac or her own incredibly successful solo career...Nicks' words have always held special meaning in the hearts of her captivated audience. And there are many songs within the confines of Nicks' 7th studio album that are destined to become classics. From the rolling, rocking thunder of the albums opener and title track, "Trouble In Shangri-La," to the carribbean-esque, "Bombay Sapphires," The introspectful Nicks provides her fans with the same enchanting lyrical melodies that have become her signature trademark throughout the years.On this her best album since 1981's "Bella Donna" (#1, 4 wks.), Nicks enlists the talents of the most respected voice in women's music today. Sheryl Crow, a longtime friend of Nicks who co-writes and holds production credits on 5 tracks is also found playing guitar and bass and adding her vocal harmonies to 3 of the albums' tracks.Macy Gray gives a stellar performance alongside Nicks in the image-laden, Bombay Sapphires; While Dixie Chick, Natalie Maines croons along with Nicks on the country-rocker, "Too Far From Texas."Sarah McLachlan also lends her hand and voice to the album offering up her pianist expertise and haunting vocals to the albums closing track, "Love Is." As well as contributing vocals, McLachlan also designed the albums logo.While remaining both true to self and form, Nicks offers up her legions of fans an album of 13 tracks that offers a little bit of something for everyone. Albeit, not without a little help from her friends. 06MAY01"