Stevie Nicks Album - Trouble in Shangri-La
|Album Information :|
||Trouble in Shangri-La
Label:Reprise / Wea
Review - Product Description :
Trouble In Shangri-La' is legendary rock poet Stevie Nicks' first solo collection since 1994's Street Angel. To make things even better, ex Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsay Buckingham plays guitar throughout the album. Also, Sheryl Crow worked on 5 of the 13 tracks, adding guitar, vocals and bass.
Review - Amazon.com :
Rock enchantress Stevie Nicks strips off the shawls, scarves, and most of the rest of her trademark witchy esoterica for her first album since 1994's rather precious Street Angel. Seemingly more comfortable in her skin, Nicks also settles more comfortably into her croaky, lived-in voice, and is a stronger presence for it. While Trouble in Shangri-La was produced in part by Sheryl Crow, Nicks also tapped the talents of John Shanks (Melissa Etheridge) and Sarah McLachlan producer Pierre Marchand (McLachlan adds her haunting pipes to "Love Is"). Also on hand are Dixie Chick Natalie Maines (on the rockabilly-like "Too Far from Texas"), and the ubiquitous Macy Gray growls on "Bombay Sapphire," a blistering, hard-charging track that recalls the best moments of Fleetwood Mac. Other standouts on the album are the unflinching, autobiographical "Fall from Grace," recorded at punk rock speed, and the winsome "Everyday," with its elegant, soulful lyrics. --Jaan Uhelszki
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful:
- Stevie Nicks, Witchy Songstress
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.
Jef Fazekas (Newport Beach, California United States) - May 11, 2001
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
- The Siren Of "Shangri-La" Returns......Better Than Ever!
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
- Nicks: Sure To Score Gold w/ 1st Collection in 7 Years
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
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
- Stevie Nicks returns to glory with "Trouble in Shangri La"
This album shows the ever present creative genius of the mystical high priestess of rock and roll. Trouble in Shangri La is a lush mix of sweet love songs, hard driving rockers, and even a country ballad. This is a cd for anyone who likes good rock and roll because it has a little something for everybody. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about this album after 1994's less than impressive release, "Street Angel", but after listening to just the first song I knew Trouble... was a gem. It shows Stevie's voice in top form as well as her unparalleled ability in songwriting. The lyrics are torn straight from the pages of her journals, which she has again shared with her fans. My only small complaint is that there surely was room for a few more fast paced songs.But hey, nothing is perfect. From the heart felt "Everyday" and "Too Far From Texas" to the tech rocking "Planets of the Universe" this album is sure to be a winner. This is by far her best work since "Bella Donna". Good Going Stevie!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
- Stevie Nicks - Trouble in Shangri-La (2001)
Twenty years after her debut solo album Bella Donna, Nicks manages to matter. She was no longer the global force she was in the late seventies, when Fleetwood Mac was at her side. However, her first album of original material for seven years and her first of new millennium attracted interest from an A-list of younger performers. This is evidence that Nicks had survived the rock and roll grist mill to emerge as an institution. She was readily acknowledged as a pioneer who paved the way for many artists, especially women.
To expect another Bella Donna or The Wild Heart from Nicks is unfair, and if someone isn't a Stevie Nicks fan by now there's not much that's going to remedy the situation. However, to Nicks credit the more recently penned songs on Shangri-La are the strongest ones. "Trouble in Shangri-La" is a powerful comment on the pitfalls of fame and/or love, "Love Changes" surges with hard-won hope, "Fall From Grace" is balls to wall rock that Nicks hasn't recorded since Rock a Little, and the lush ballad "Love Is" grows more emotive with every listen.
Though Nicks is in far better form than she was on 1994's forgettable Street Angel, there are still several recurring problems on Trouble in Shangri-La. Twangy "Too Far From Texas" is out of place amid the rest of the songs. "That Made Me Stronger" is a clunkity song built around some rather overwrought lyrics. And, again, big production often short-circuits the energy in the songs. Bottom-line, Nicks performs best in simple surroundings (or at least surroundings that sound simple).
At this point, Nicks has nothing else to prove. Trouble in Shangri-La and the 2003 Fleetwood Mac album Say You Will both hit the top five, proving Nicks is still relevant. Plus, her songwriting on Say You Will was one of the strongest reasons to buy that album. Where Nicks will go from here is anyone's guess. Personally, I'd love to see her go back to basics and cut an album of rough gems like the demos she released on Enchanted or even stick to the low maintenance sonic surroundings Lindsey Buckingham created for her on Say You Will tracks such as "Thrown Down" and "Silver Girl." Whatever she does, Nicks' place in the rock pantheon is guaranteed both as a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist in her own right.