Graham Reid | | 1 min read
For her first album in a decade the fairie queen and producer Dave Stewart have opened their fat Rolladecks and made some calls. Here are Fleetwood Macs' Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood, Mike Campbell from Petty's Heartbreakers, guitarists Waddy Watchel and Glen Ballard (among other six stringers), Greg Leisz on mandolin, percusson player Lennie Castro . . .
And Nicks' daughters Sharon and Lori on backing vocals.
Sometimes the firepower overwhelms (the Eighties-sounding title track, Ghosts Are Gone) and this is at its best on songs like the tense Soldier's Angel where a relentlessly twanging guitar provides the unsettling backdrop behind her monochrome delivery.
Nicks no longer has the vocal range she once did and here she broadcasts on a narrow frequency, but oddly enough that works to her advantage on her co-write with Campbell For What It's Worth which sounds curiously like mid Eighties Dylan, that burred and almost monotone style and long vocal lines.
Wide Sargasso Sea is similarly Dylanesque . . . until the Eighties power-rock guitars and chunky drums crash in.
Few people would come to Nicks expecting deep poetry, but some of these lyrics are trite or clumsy -- and she admits the ballad Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream) was inspired by the film New Moon.
Of interest is Annabel Lee which is an adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe poem which has also been an inspiration for Lou Reed and Nick Cave. Nicks' version, after a promising and lowkey opening, unfortunately turns into just another swelling and overlong ballad.
The string elevated Italian Summer reaches higher than most things here and Nicks fans -- and they are legion -- will doubtless find plenty here to enjoy. But the brash production and noisy rock guitars can't disguise her narrow vocal range. And nothing here soars like Sara or Rhiannon.
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