Stevie Nicks' seventh solo album, In Your Dreams, has debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 chart. It marks the fifth top ten album for the Fleetwood Mac vocalist and sold 52,000 copies its first week out.
What’s not gone is her Victorian Goth ethos. All through the album, we see her in various dramatic outfits and hats; at times, a horse or an owl accompany her. So when she sings “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), it’s never as weird as maybe it should be. The piano builds into a power ballad as she sings about the doomed connection between a female vampire and a man: If he leaves her / he’ll be losing the chance / to stay alive. The same quality comes through on her reworking of Poe’s poem, “Annabel Lee.” What could have easily been goofy tracks are fascinating narratives. Nicks isn’t just a songwriter, she’s a storyteller — a skill forcefully on display here.
Interestingly enough, where Nicks and Stewart collaborate on songwriting is where more of her rocker chick comes out, though matured. The title track and the subsequent “Wide Sargasso Sea” have a stronger pulse, mixed well but letting her jam out just a hair.
They co-wrote the final chapter of the album with a trio of songs. “You May Be the One” goes for a bluesy flair without pretension. Nicks never sounds like she’s trying here, and Stewart plays the guitar with enough restraint to not be Eric Clapton (although nowadays he could pass for his twin). “Italian Summer” is a heavy-handed bump in the collection.
They rebound superbly on the closer, a duet (Stewart sings!). “Cheaper than Free” is without doubt the CD’s sweetest song, one that everyone should give to their significant other.