[The Nicks Fix]

Trouble in Shangri-La - Reviews

The Music Box, October 2001, Volume 8, #10

Stevie Nicks Trouble in Shangri-La
Written by Joseph O. Patton

Her reign continues.

It has been decades since Stevie Nicks, siren of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac, was dubbed the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll." Despite the wildly growing crop of new female artists, all daring to push the traditional boundaries of popular music, Nicks remains true to her art. Her latest release Trouble in Shangri-La is her first full-length recording in seven years, and it continues her tradition of artistic integrity and independent style.

Trouble in Shangri-La is simply what has become expected of Nicks, a collection of songs born of personal experiences and woven together by her poetic lyrics. Several tracks have a tendency to grab you, most notably the country-tinged Too Far from Texas. Here, Nicks' warm, husky voice throws the listener into the ring of a honky-tonk bar, and the track is a testament to her ability to transcend the standard rules and sounds in pop music.

A high point of Trouble in Shangri-La is its all-star cast. Throughout the album, Nicks broadens her musical horizons, assembling a motley crew of female artists to support her. She bridges the pop/country gap by dueting with Dixie Chick Natalie Maines on Too Far from Texas; songstress Macy Gray appears briefly to trade notes with Nicks on Bombay Sapphires; and piano diva Sarah McLachlan offers piano, vocals, and guitar to the ballad Love Is. Additionally, Sheryl Crow -- who worked with Nicks in 1998 to produce two tracks for the Practical Magic soundtrack -- has returned to write, produce, perform, and sing on several of the songs.

Despite their many contributions, however, the guest artists on Trouble in Shangri-La never steal the show, and instead allow Nicks to shine. Pulling from her experiences with Fleetwood Mac as well as her years as a successful solo artist, she provides a well-rounded collection of twelve songs, all of which exemplify her magical lyrics and surreal sound.

It's doubtful that Nicks will make a return to her heyday of heavy radio airplay anytime soon -- the industry has changed significantly in the past twenty years -- but regardless of this, Nicks continues her charming habit of writing material that expressly is not watered down for the masses. As a result, you'll have to buy the CD as that's the only way you'll get to hear it. Fans of Nicks will not be disappointed.

Joseph O. Patton is the editor and publisher of the Capital City Free Press, published in Montgomery, Alabama.

from MTVAsia

Stevie Nicks "Trouble In Shangri-La" (Warner)

Our Rating: 4
Your Rating: (4.9 in 144 votes)
In Summary: A wicked concoction that's spilling of enchanting lyrical melodies

Sounds Like: Name of a martial arts flick but no. The gypsy woman from the '80s group Fleetwood Mac has risen from the dead to haunt us again with her unique brew of bewitching music in her 2001 album "Trouble In Shangrila." Yay! some things will never change. Combine her with the sisterhood of Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Macy Gray, and one Dixie Chick, and what do you get? A wicked concoction spilling of enchanting lyrical melodies.

You May Have Heard: Of Miss Nicks, or have you? Except for her fans and Fleetwood Mac-kers, do the MTV generation know who she is? Take note that her famed mystical style has inspired many other chanteuses like Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Andrea Corr, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Joan Osborne.

We Fancy: Her croaky, soothing voice that resonates in the befitting "Sorcerer" backed up harmoniously by friend Sheryl Crow (who produces 5 tracks). Together the two can cook up quite a storm and work magic. Like the witchy "Candlebright," (love the mandolin bit!) the folkish "It's Only Love," and the punchy guitar riffs heard on "That Made Me Stronger" (inspired by Tom Petty so we hear). Surprisingly it's her duet with Dixie Chick's Natalie Maines on the Wallflowers fashioned "Too Far From Texas" that's turned out to be the best track of the album! More treats come in the form of the exotic "Bombay Sapphires" where you'll hear Macy Gray's gravel voice blending in nicely with Stevie's -- the only song produced by her alone and the tender "Every Day." Oh! must add the design is some piece of artwork that sums Stevie's whole persona.

We're Not Sure About: Not Stevie, you pop lot out there! Time you expanded your horizons a little and give this one a listen.

Verdict: A cauldron of hypnotizing, soothing sounds which is good news to old fans. New listeners hearing her for the first time will be spellbound. -- Sheila Price

from slantmagazine.com

Stevie Nicks
Trouble In Shangri-La
Reprise, 2001

Stevie Nicks' Trouble In Shangri-La sounds more like a retrospective than an album of all new material, and that might be due to the fact that many of the song copyrights date as far back as 1970. Yet Nicks never attempts to update her sound the way other aging rockers have in recent years. The songs are never muddled unnecessarily with electronica (or any other trends for that matter). Instead, she has fine-tuned her craft, offering what is probably her most solid collection of songs since 1981's Bella Donna. Songs like the title track display Nicks' ever-enchanting lyrical talents: "You can consume all the beauty in the room…And it brings up the wind/And it rises around you in pillars of colors." On the pop-driven "Love Changes," she acknowledges how relationships can change but doesn't necessarily embrace those changes. Her long-standing ability and unmatched devotion to exposing the most vulnerable aspects of her life is still evident: "I am terrified of being wrong/Well, I am not happy/I am not crazy." The album's first single, "Planets of the Universe," written back in 1979, finds Nicks coming to grips with mortality more than twenty years ago: "I was wrong to live for a dream/If I had my life to live over/I would never dream, no." The song is now, perhaps, a comment on the Welsh Witch's dedication to the art of music and sacrifice of family life. "Planets" evokes images of Nicks growling her way through the now-classic "Edge of Seventeen." You can already hear the inevitable club mix making its way up the club charts.

Shangri-La features a myriad of guests producers, vocalists, and musicians (including Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham on "I Miss You"), which makes me think the album would be more appropriately credited to The Stevie Nicks Band. But the disc is very much Stevie's: vocal appearances by Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan, and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks blend with Nicks' sinewy voice without much notice. Sheryl Crow, on the other hand, leaves her distinctive stamp on half of the album, including the mystical "Sorcerer" and the poetic "It's Only Love," which she wrote especially for Nicks. The former is ironically preceded by "That Made Me Stronger," for which Nicks only wrote the lyrics: "Can you write this for me?/He says no, you write your songs yourself." The track is nicely framed with programmed drum loops and crunchy guitars by Crow and producer Jeff Trott.

Despite seven different producers, Shangri-La sounds cohesive and consistent. But the slick production and syrupy melodies beg for the raw drama of Nicks' imminent live performances. "Bombay Sapphires" finds Nicks proclaiming, "Here I am dramatic/Here I am not waiting/Here I am not listening," but her fans have certainly waited and with Trouble in Shangri-La, there's definitely something worth listening to.

Sal Cinquemani

from JAM Showbiz

Stevie Nicks has girl power

By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun

Sunday, April 29, 2001
Stevie Nicks

This sometime frontwoman for Fleetwood Mac released her last solo album way back in 1994. The poorly received Street Angel didn't exactly set the world on fire, coming just as Nicks had gotten out of rehab.

At least the 1998 boxed set Enchanted reminded everyone just how potent a singer-songwriter Nicks can be when her head is on straight.

With her latest relationship-oriented collection, in stores Tuesday, Nicks makes a strong return to form, hooking up with a variety of female A-listers she has no doubt influenced along the way: Sheryl Crow, who produced five of the 13 tracks, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines.

Among the highlights are the glistening title track, Planets Of The Universe and Bombay Sapphires, the latter with Gray on guest vocals; Candlebright , Sorcerer and Fall From Grace, featuring wonderful vocals from Nicks and striking harmonies with Crow; the twangy Maines duet Too Far FromTexas; the stripped-down It's Only Love, written by Crow; and Love Is with McLachlan on backup vocals, guitar and piano.

Many of the songs wouldn't be out of place in a Fleetwood Mac set. Even guitarist Lindsay Buckingham shows up on I Miss You.

For many girls who came of age listening to Fleetwood Mac's 1977 classic album Rumors, Nicks was it. For this girl -- okay, woman -- she still is.

Nicks is planning to tour this summer and I, for one, hope she's planning a Toronto stop.

from Edmonton Sun

Solo Stevie a singular pleasure


Stevie Nicks

Take your pick: Bad drugs or bad relationships.

Stevie Nicks has dealt with both to the point that one could take her heartbreak songs either way. Take Planets of the Universe, one of the more "out-there" tracks on her first solo album in seven years: "You will never love again the way you love me/you will never rule again the way you ruled me."

Presumably free now from bad drugs or bad lovers, Nicks's personality is more present here than on 1994's Street Angel. With distinctive catty rasp in fine form, she fleshes out plenty of old ghosts - from being in the midst of despair (Sorcerer) to rehashing the Fleetwood Mac saga (Fall From Grace) to relating a pep talk she got from Tom Petty on That Made Me Stronger.

She sings, "Can you write this for me? He says, no, you write your songs yourself."

So she did. And while Petty may have turned her down this time, Nicks enlisted lots of help - a veritable Lilith Fairian posse of special guests - and one could argue that she needs it. Without Sheryl Crow, who produced and sang backup on several tracks - along with writing one of the best songs, It's Only Love, specifically about Nicks - this might've turned into a watered-down version of Fleetwood Mac. Of course, there are worse fates.

Also lifting it up is Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, who adds a sassy country flair on Too Far From Texas, a classic long-distance heartbreak tune. The other guests, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and Lindsey Buckingham, are largely lost in the shuffle. Still, despite its flaws, this could be Stevie's best solo work to date - at least on one where she did most of the work.

from FM Sound

Street Date: May 1, 2001
by Robert Bach

Stevie Nicks has been a singer and songwriter to be reckoned with since joining Fleetwood Mac in 1975. Sometimes with a career that spans over 25 years, an artist of this caliber can get a little laid back and lose some of the edge that brought them to where they are. This is not the case, however, with Stevie Nicks' latest release Trouble in Shangri-La This is her first solo release of new material since 1994, and after this long period of silence Stevie Nicks sounds newly refreshed as she presents the world, once again, with a stellar collection of her signature sound; but this time her music comes with a more deeply personal feel.

The title song opens the cd and stands out the most among this collection of music. The music is catchy, upbeat and easy to sing along with; and the words are like pages torn from a diary. And in fact, many of the lyrics and subjects included on this cd are just that, from the journal of Stevie Nicks.

She shares, "Instead of partying, I run back to my room, open my journal, and pour out my heart onto paper. It can take minutes, or it can take all night. But it's always deep. And it's always real." Trouble in Shangri-La has a feel to it that is like Stevie is sitting across from you telling you about this love of hers and how things have gone wrong.

Everyday, the album's first single, follows the same formula as the title track. Another conversational piece, this time as though she's talking directly to the person she's in love with. Everyday is another upbeat, very radio-friendly track.

Something that may have aided in keeping her music fresh and new is the sprinkling of new & time-tested talent throughout this cd.

Sheryl Crow appears as a heavy influence on this cd lending her superior skills on guitar to several tracks and co-writing one of the best ballads on this album, It's Only Love. Crow also has producing credits on several of the songs.

Natalie Maines, of the Dixie Chicks, lends her vocals on the country flavored Too Far From Texas. Nicks and Maines blend their voices perfectly and Crow adds bass guitar to lift this song a notch above the par.

Macy Gray, Lindsay Buckingham and Lori Nicks lend their talents to this project as well as Sarah McLachlan and many other talented musicians.

McLachlan plays piano and guitar and supplies harmony vocals on Love Is, one of the most beautiful, poetic songs on this cd. The gentleness of McLachlan's piano and the addition of her harmonies enhance Stevie's voice and passion to a new level.

And even songs that don't stand out musically like Bombay Sapphires and Sorcerer are lyrically impressive. And therefore, I easily get past the normalcy of the music because I can see the big picture so clearly.

Nicks says that each musician came onboard this project exactly when "the songs seemed to be calling out their names. These are strong, wonderful women with incredible musical talent. To have them on this album is such a special gift." Its a gift to the listener as well, but the biggest gift is to have new material by one of the leading singer/songwriters in the industry today - Stevie Nicks.

Trouble in Shangri-La would have been outstanding if she played every instrument herself and sang harmonies over her own lead vocals — but instead she realized that there are other people with a lot of talent and she utilized that talent to create one triumphant final product. All the work, all the time and all that each musician gave of themselves is apparent and just adds to this project to make it that much more important and impressive.

Liner notes, lyrics and many images are included in the multi page cd insert.

from Rolling Stone, Issue 871, June 21, 2001

Stevie Nicks
Trouble in Shangri-La

Nicks' best solo work in years

Stripped to the bare essentials, Stevie Nicks' music is just Nicks' articulate rasp and her 14 million romantic emotions; when it's rocking just right, there's nothing else like it, giving robust rock form to her seemingly untamable impressions. And on Trouble in Shangri-La, it's rocking as right as it has since the mid-Eighties, when producer Jimmy Iovine helped Nicks craft two consecutive solo masterstrokes of big-time guitars, tunes and rhythms. On Shangri-La, she works comfortably with everyone from Sheryl Crow to the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines. Producer John Shanks shows a perfect understanding of what makes Nicks Nicks on thrillers like "Planets of the Universe" and the sensational title track. And when, working with Rick Nowels on "I Miss You," she sings, "I have so many questions/About love and about pain/About strained relationships," Nicks delivers some of her best work since she first barked out the words "white-winged dove." -- James Hunter

from The Melbourne Express
May 9, 2001
Stevie Nicks, Trouble In Shangri-La
(Reprise/Time Warner)
* * * * 1/2
Making a commercial viable recording at 53 is a difficult prospect, especially for a women who has received such a public battering. With her first solo release in seven years, Stevie Nicks can finally silence all those who reviled in her misfortunes. The legendary rock poet shares her soul, using 13 songs brimming with strength, emotion, wisdom and honesty. Featured guests include Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray and former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The comeback careers of Eric Clapton and Santana lay in the shadows of Trouble In Shangri-La.
Review in the NJ Star-Ledger

by Lisa Rose
May 13, 2001
"Trouble in Shangri-La"
(Warner Brothers)
3 stars

On "Trouble in Shangri-La," Stevie Nicks balances interstellar prose with rootsy instrumentation, crafting a fine collection of country-pop ditties, power ballads, and EZ-rockers that should please Volvo drivers everywhere. On the rebound from 1994's stumbling "Street Angel," the famously feathered Fleetwood Mac singer remakes herself from rock vixen to pensive storyteller. The patented rasp is still there, but the tone is more reflective, less aggressive.

Nicks assumes the bulk of the songwriting responsibilities on her sixth solo effort, spanning time and juggling genres. The album is a mix of just-penned material and vintage compositions dating back to 1970, all dusted with tropical beats, Eastern flourishes, techno bytes and other esoteric touches.

The title cut and leading track is sturdy pop hooks with groovy words: "You can consume all the beauty in the room baby/I know you can, I've seen you do it/And it brings up the wind/And it rises around you in pillars of color." On "Sorcerer," Nicks is alternately wan and gruff, delivering stratospheric trills and getting low-down bluesy.

"Planets of the Universe" sounds like something off Fleetwood Mac's sullen AOR staple "Rumours" because it was written during the same period, as Nicks and bandmate-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham romantically self-destructed. Updated with synth blips and whirs, "Planets" is a dulcet kiss-off: "Now I know/Well, I was wrong/To live for a dream/ If I had my life to live over/I would never dream, no."

Nicks' ex steps in to strum on "Shangri-La's" lilting "I Miss You," marking Buckingham's first appearance on a solo Nicks album.

Though Nicks penned most of the material on her own, a Santana-sized cast of guest stars share studio time with her. Dixie Chick Natalie Maines contributes a touch of twang to the Wallflowery "Too Far From Texas." The languid lament "Candlebright," produced by Sheryl Crow, is splashed with Hammond, plinking piano and mandolin. Sister-in-scratch Macy Gray wheezes along with Nicks on the Latin-spiced "Bombay Sapphires."

The leather-and-lace contrast of the last two numbers echoes Nicks' early tambourine-era solo efforts. "Fall From Grace" is a fairy tale retold with arena bombast and blazing guitar work while the Sarah McLachlan-aided "Love Is" closes the album on an ethereal note.

Planet of Music

Nicks' 'Shangri-La' Combines Dash of Everything
Stephanie Swanburg
May 09, 2001

Take one blank CD, add a cup of Harry Potter, a pint of folk rock mixer, a dash of illegal substances and shake well. Chill for one hour and you will have "Trouble in Shangri-La," the latest release by prolific songstress Stevie Nicks.

Nicks has spent more than 30 years in the music industry and has 19 albums to her name. She's been featured on 11 soundtracks and 41 compilations. She's been naked in Playboy [this is incorrect, as she only had an interview in Playboy] and has her own "Behind the Music" special.

For "Trouble in Shangri-La," Nicks recruited the help of Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Macy Gray and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines. This Lilith Fair power play gave Nicks a twist on her traditional goddess-rock genre. The album comes off like a collaboration between the musicians rather than a Stevie Nicks solo album, but with all that talent in one place, who's complaining?

The title track, a dark song about life's troubles and human failings, shows a sharp Crow influence, although it is one of the few tracks she did not produce. "Candlebright" is a "Globe Sessions"-influenced ballad with a strong "Rumors" flavor, and Maines adds her special brand of twang to "Too Far From Texas."

"Bombay Sapphires," with guest vocalist Gray, takes a subtle trip-hop beat and a tropical heat to a place only Nicks can go. And McLachlan gives her whole band to Nicks on "Love Is," a bittersweet love song that goes from adoring ("Have you felt this way before/Oh, I thought I knew/Do you know that I love you now/Oh, yes I do) to broken-hearted ("Do not call or come around here/Do not tell/You know that I loved you then/Oh well").

Classic Nicks magic shines through on "Sorcerer," a guitar track with an ethereal chorus: "Sorcerer/Who is the master/A man and woman on a star stream/In the middle of a snow dream."

Nicks rhapsodizes about lost love in "I Miss You." "Well, I miss you now/I have so many questions/About love and pain/About strained relationships/About fame as only he could explain it to me." Another breakup ballad is the Crow-written and produced "It's Only Love." The broken-hearted have a strong voice in this album.

Overall, "Trouble in Shangri-La" is all the poetry and magic you can expect from Stevie Nicks. It takes the best edge from Crow, twang from Maines, sandpaper vocals from Gray and girliness from McLachlan, leaving behind a beautifully constructed album.

Brisbane, Australia SAT.MAY 19,2001

Stevie Nicks 'Trouble In Shangri-La' succeeds against the odds and is receiving acclaim around the world.The signs weren't auspicious for TISL as Nicks big moment on Fleetwood Macs 1997 reunion album The Dance was apparently a leftover from Rumours,released twenty years before.

But the familiar,earthy voice that helped convert Fleetwood Mac from a venerable english blues band into Multi-platinum favourites is in strong shape here.

Nicks has been an inspiration to a new generation of female singer-songwriters and thay return the favour with guest appearences from Macy Gray,Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow who wrote one tune[the acoustic ballad Its Only Love]and co-produced five tracks.

Nicks still plays her sulry mystic card on tracks like Sorcerer and Planets Of The Universe,and the stripped down Everyday might even knock off one of those old Mac tunes for some airplay one of thes days.

Obviously,TISL was delivered with a big comeback in mind.

[Written by NOEL MENGAL,'Sounds',The Courier-Mail]

from The Virginian Pilot
May 10 edition
by Ana Salzberg

"It may have been seven years since Stevie Nicks' last solo album, but the newly-released "Trouble in Shangri-La" proves that the Gold Dust Woman was worth waiting for. "Shangri-La" is a strong, solid album that will delight old fans and intrigue new listeners.

It is clear that Nicks is completely committed to this album. Every one of the 13 songs resounds with her unique energy and force--there are no weak or half-hearted performances. Nicks commands the straight-ahead rock of the title track and "Fall From Grace," as well as seductively enchanting her listeners with songs like "Candlebright." Planets of the Universe" and "Bombay Sapphires" are driving anthems that will bring to mind Nicks classics like "Edge of Seventeen" and "Outside the Rain."

"It's Only Love," written by Sheryl Crow (who produced five of the album's tracks) is one of the CD's finest moments. The song, with delicate lyrics and arrangement, is exquisitely reminiscent of "Sara," Nicks' 1979 hit with Fleetwood Mac.

While she has always been a premier storyteller, Stevie Nicks' work on "Trouble in Shangri-La" represents an even higher level of strength and artistry. As a singer and a songwriter, Nicks has truly found Shangri-La.

from the Reveille, an LSU Student Newspaper

Poetically Beautiful

Stevie Nicks brings in talented musicians on stunning 'Trouble'

By Ben Leger
Revelry Contributor

The witch-goddess and legendary songwriter of rock, Stevie Nicks, has offered up her first collection of solo material since 94's "Street Angel." The new release, "Trouble in Shangri-La," teams the former Fleetwood Mac chanteuse with an array of musical talents.

Longtime friend, Sheryl Crow, has a prominent role in the recording. Crow has production credits on five of the album's 13 tracks and also plays guitar, bass and sings backup on several of the tracks.

Nicks duets with Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks on the country sounding "Too Far From Texas," and R&B star Macy Gray does background vocals on the spicy "Bombay Sapphires."

Also, Sarah McLachlan brings in her entire band and producer Pierre Marchand on Nicks' beautiful ballad "Love Is" that sounds much like something that could have been on McLachlan's "Surfacing."

But rest assured, Nicks is not merely following in the footsteps of other legendary comebacks like that of Carlos Santana, showcasing a fine assortment of musicians who just recently gained fame to appeal to a new crowd. Nicks is clearly the main feature here; her eerie, domineering voice and mystic lyrics are the main focal point of "Trouble."

The 13 songs on "Trouble," which have accumulated over several years of hiatus, recall the gorgeous, surreal music Nicks created during her time in Fleetwood Mac and solo outings such as 82's "Bella Donna."

Nicks recreates her sound here to make it a bit more accessible to the younger generation, dabbling in the occasional electronic sounds and programming here and there and adding dreamlike keyboards and guitars, making many of the songs sound like they would work well on a Lilith Fair compilation album.

"Planets of the Universe" is a brilliant example of Nicks' poetic imagery as she sings, "No doubt, no pain/ Come ever again, well/ Let there be light in this lifetime/ In the cool, silent moments of the nighttime."

The cool rock song "That Made Me Stronger," shows Nicks recalling a discussion she had with longtime pal, Tom Petty, in which he helped her realize that she is still one of the most gifted songwriters in music today.

On this track, Nicks thanks Petty singing, "Well you know me better than I know myself/ Can you write this for me/ He says no, you write your songs yourself/ That made me stronger/ It made me hold on to me."

"Falling from Grace" finds Nicks rocking out with her band on this startlingly forceful tune in which she sings, "And it's not enough that you say you love me/ It's not enough to just save face/ Because sometimes/ You just fall from grace."

Overall, "Trouble" is an excellent illustration of Nicks' ability to create strikingly beautiful songs with the fiery passion that has made her a legend in the music world. Nicks has penned songs that stand the test of time, and the songs on "Trouble" should prove that Nicks can do the same with extraordinary grace.

Hot Press Magazine, Ireland, 23rd May issue, Vol 25, No.9

Stevie Nicks
Trouble in Shangri-La (Reprise)
8 out of 12

As far back as ten years ago, any non-partisan listener might have greeted the new Stevie Nicks record as a kind of relic, a hark back to the age of champagne, coke and frilly lace chokers. More recently though, California Dreamin’ got rehabilitated in a way that was half kitsch, half genuine fondness for Ms Nicks’ wistful croak on the soap-op romance of tunes like ‘Edge of 17’. For a start, she somehow became a kind of peer figure for Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan and the rest of the Lilith fillies. Then rootsy radio rock returned with the Wallflowers and Sheryl Crow. The Corrs covered the sublime ‘Dreams’, and Courtney Love staged a brilliant reupholstering of the ruined high life and LA noir of Rumours with the sorely underrated Celebrity Skin. In fact, Crow and McLachlan plus Macy Gray all get credits here (the former produced 5 of the tunes, wrote one and co-wrote another). Other familiars include Tom Petty, credited with giving Nicks an earful over dinner back in ’95, thus generating the impetus for this comeback, and his fellow Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench also contribute, alongside hardened sessioneers like Waddy Wachtel and Lenny Castro. The result is exactly what you’d expect a Nick’s record to sound like in 2001. A couple of token nods to the Pro-Tools age, but mostly traditional AOR sounds offset by the singer’s white witch lyrical shtick- titles like ‘Sorcerer’, ‘Bombay Sapphires’ and ‘Planets of the Universe’. All of which would sound rather anomalous if not for two saving graces. Nicks’ delicious voice and a melodic instinct that transforms even the most cringe-worthy of West Coast clunkers into something more memorable, best represented here by the nagging chorus of the title tune.
Peter Murphy


Stevie Nicks
Every Day

Ol’ Stevie’s been through more bad stuff than any girl should have to cope with, but she’s back and on form with her new album Trouble in Shangri-La, from which this single is taken. The good thing about having been through the mill and back is that you can hear it in her voice, at times plaintive, resigned and impassioned, yet possessed of a strength that challenges you to mess with her. It’s that voice that elevates this from regular USAFM fodder and transforms it into something a little special.
Stephen Robinson

Hartford Courant May 3, 2001

Trouble In Shangri-La
Stevie Nicks
Warner Bros.

The album cover shows a woman from the back, but there is not mistaking you it is. The diaphanous, multilayered dress fluttering in the breeze, the chunky platform high heeled boots, the Rapunzel mass of tendrils flowing just like a white-winged dove and the lace could only signal one person: Stevie Nicks.

There's also no mistaking the music on Nicks' new "Trouble In Shangri-La". The poet priestess of rock has delivered a recording that is pure, essential Stevie - powerful, emotional songwriting that ranks with the best music from her Fleetwood Mac years. Her first album in seven years (following 1994's disastrous "Street Angel", recorded while Nicks was in a Klonopin haze), "Trouble In Shangri-La" is her best work since "Bella Donna", the classic that sparked her solo career in 1981.

No trouble in paradise, here. We find Nicks, aided by the producing skills of Sheryl Crow and the backup vocals of Sarah McLachlan, Macy Gray, and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, confident in both voice and songwriting. Her tunes (including several penned in the '70's) are fresh, vibrant and wickedly catchy. Her lyrics, Nicks' strong suit, are as powerful as they are smart. She sings of love, yes, but not from the vantage point of a hopeless romantic. There's something of a wise survivalist in the lyrics; the intelligent take from a woman who knows enough to know better.

And yet, Nicks also finds herself in the familiar arena of passion - wanting romance and dreaming of love. "Does he know how long I've waited for this love to come?" she asks in the plaintive "Too Far From Texas". On the stirring "Candlebright," she confesses "Well you know me....I can't feel bad about the way I am."

The tracks produced by Nicks' new pal Crow benefit from the wistful outsiderness both artists have separately conveyed. Together, they're a good partnership expressing both moving honesty and bittersweet knowingness. Nicks hasn't stopped dragging her heart around. But "Shangri-La" suggests she's a little bit better at protecting it.
-Greg Morago

The Daily Mail
pg 54 Friday, May 4, 2001
Reviews by Adrian Thrills

Stevie bridges the gap

She had written songs, such as Rhiannon and Dreams, which had graced some of the biggest albums in pop history. Her gipsy-diva style and husky voice had made her the female rock icon of the late Seventies and early Eighties. But, by the begining of 1995, Stevie Nicks was in a rut. The American singer, who had joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, had spent a year promoting a solo album, 1994's Street Angel, that she knew fell below her usual artistic standards. Having Kicked a cocaine habit in 1986, she had also overcome an eight-year addiction to prescription drugs. Then, as she began to piece her life back together, she was hit by writers's block. 'In 1986, I'd started taking a tranquillizer called Klonopin,' says Nicks.'By the time I began recording Street Angel, it had really kicked in. I was sick and I didin't go out at all. But my overwhelming sense of calmness took away all my feelings. It took away my creative juices.' Determined to make her next record a more stimulating and honest affair, she approached an old friend, Tom Petty, in 1995 to suggest a songwriting collaboration. 'He said asking him to co-write was a dumb idea,' she says. 'He said my songs didn't need saving. 'Tom told me that I had made a lot of mistakes, fired a lot of people and gone crazy. 'But he also told me I was a great songwriter. He had my best interests at heart and he shook me up. So I went to my piano and started writing. Suddenly, I was on a roll.' The songs Nicks wrote after Petty's pep talk have been assembled on her fifth solo album, Trouble In Shangri-La, out last week. The album features cameos from Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines. 'I feel as if I've found all my long - lost daughters,' says 52 year old Nicks of her new vocal partners. 'I'm older than them and from a different place, but they relate to me.'

The affinity between Nicks and Sheryl Crow, who co-produced five tracks, was particularly strong. 'Someday, when we're older, we'll tour together. We'll be like the Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, except we'll be Donna and Philomena.' The best tracks on the new album are I Miss You, a ballad co-written with Rick Nowels, and Candlebright, which dates back to 1971 when Nicks and her boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham were working as a duo in San Francisco. The pair later joined Fleetwood Mac, but broke up during the sessions for 1977's Rumours album, which sold 25 million copies. 'Splitting up with Lindsey made things difficult, but we both loved being in Fleetwood Mac and we knew our songs were terrific, when you love a band, you don't sacrifice that. We knew great art would come out of difficult circumstances. And, despite all our problems, we were never boring.' Fleetwood Mac, meanwhile, will begin recording a new studio album later this year. Though keyboardist Christine McVie has decided not to take part, the other four stalwarts - Nicks, Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie - will all be there. Stevie is looking forward to the sessions. 'Without Christine's synthesizers and keyboards in the mix, the group will be pushed back towards guitars,' she says. 'But it will be back to an English blues sound, which is exactly what I loved about the band when we joined.'

E! online

Artist / Band: Stevie Nicks
Record Label: Reprise Records
Release Date: May 01, 2001

Fleetwood Mac chanteuse Stevie Nicks takes flight once again. Slipping into those high heel stilettos and batwing sleeves, Nicks reclaims her rightful place as rock enchantress on Trouble in Shangri-La (her first solo album since her rather haphazard 1994 affair, Street Angel). Nicks has forgone most of her witchy-woman trappings and chosen to construct her own little Lilith Fair, recruiting Macy Gray, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines to back her up. Dipping into uncharacteristic, straightforward musings unlike anything she's done before, Nicks experiments with rockabilly at times and shashays around this disc with much aplomb, humor and self-awareness, finally growing into her throaty growl at age 53. A track like "Fall from Grace" doesn't pull any punches either, chronicling Nicks' own public humiliations without shame, proving that, even though there may be trouble, there's a happy place for everyone.

May 1 issue of The ECLIPSE (the black student newsmagazine at the University of Maryland)

Great Album No Trouble for Nicks

by Mike Sarzo
ECLIPSE Staff Writer

Until U2 released All That You Can't Leave Behind last year, the idea that rock acts would release an album that ranked with the best material in their long careers was almost unheard of.

But Stevie Nicks also turned the trick with Trouble in Shangri-la, her first studio album in seven years, and arguably her best work since her solo debut, 1981's Bella Donna, sold 4 million copies.

Despite having many different producers for the album's 13 tracks, the songs blend extremely well and showcase a variety of styles, from country-spiced ("Too Far From Texas") to Latin- flavored ("Bombay Sapphires"), to pop ("Everyday," and Love Changes"), to ballads ("Love Is," I Miss You.")

But Nicks is at her best when she rocks, and the album includes that element.

The powerhouse rocker "Fall From Grace" brought the house down at the Blockbuster Awards when Nicks and good friend and producer of five Trouble in Shangri-la songs, Sheryl Crow, sang it April 10.

"Planets of the Universe" sounds starkly different from demo versions of the song that were almost sweet-sounding, but have been described by longtime fans as depressing. The song transformed into a defiant, mid-tempo rocker for the album.

Nicks included several songs that could only be described as complex, from layered vocals in the title track to sounds in "Bombay Sapphires" that could work on a jazz station or one that plays R&B.

But another album highlight is a very simple-sounding song with many possible interpretations, "It's Only Love." Crow wrote the song for Nicks when she thought about the stories her friend told her about her life, and the song makes it clear that Crow understands Nicks better than anyone who hadn't known Nicks for 20 years.

The most remarkable thing about the album is that of the 13 tracks, nine are worth playing over and over again. That doesn't mean that no songs stand out; in fact, "Fall From Grace" and "It's Only Love" are the two strongest.

The weakest tracks, "That Made Me Stronger" and "Everyday" are songs I'd have to be in the right mood to hear.

Since Trouble in Shangri-la is in stores today, run, don't walk to the store or surf the Internet to an online store and get a copy of the album.

There's something for everyone from the casual listener to the shawl-wearing, tambourine shaking Stevie Nicks freak to appreciate.

from People Magazine

Album of the Week
Trouble in Shangri-La
Stevie Nicks (Reprise)
Reviewed by Steve Dougherty

When Sheryl Crow helped induct Stevie Nicks and her Fleetwood Mac mates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Crow called the siren "the woman all young girls wanted to be and all men wanted to be with." After years of drug abuse and health problems in the '80s, Nicks has not only cleaned up her act, she has polished it. On her first solo album since 1994, she reins in her loopy side with an assist from Crow, who coproduces, plays guitar and sings backup on a few tracks. And though Nicks dresses like Rhiannon heading for Wicca practice on the cover photo, she keeps things real lyrically--"Sorcerer" is apparently about a drug dealer, not a mystic. Enlisting the gravelly soul of Macy Gray for "Bombay Sapphires" and the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines on "Too Far from Texas," she also keeps it real vocally. Best of all is "Fall from Grace," a rocker about sin and redemption from one who has been there and back.
Bottom Line: Another side of pop paradise.

The Sunday Republican
April 29,2001
by Kevin O'Hare

She was a gypsy trailblazer, casting a spell with her flowing scarves and raspy voice, cool, charismatic and undeniably mysterious. More than 25 years into her career, Stevie Nicks is still a captivating presence, whose blend of soft allure and fierce determination paved the way for a new generation of of rock n' roll soul women. Several of those decendents, most notably Sheryl Crow, show their debt of gratitude to Nicks on this, the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman's first solo album since 1994. Crow collaborated on five of the set's thirteen tracks, most notably the true-grit gem "Sorcerer",and "Too Far From Texas", a borderline country, steel n' slide saga, which also features Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks on vocals. Other A-List guest include Macy Gray, who distinctive vocals can be heard on the mystical "Bombay Sapphire", and Sarah McLachlan, who harmonies and piano add color to the set closing ballad "Love Is". As impressive as the collaborations are, Nicks shines just as fine on her own. And while the album might be a bit too retro and too faithful to her classic sound, she throws in a few surprises as well-especially the over-the-top,surging rocker "Fall From Grace", which sounds like it could be a perfect encore for the singer on her upcoming tour.

from Rolling Stone's website

Trouble in Shangri-La
Reader rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Stevie Nicks' long-awaited return to the spotlight is as saturated with that totally Eighties vibe-big sound, big songs, big hair-as you might expect, but Trouble in Shangri-La also has feminine soul-power to spare. Despite sporting a list of contemporary collaborators that virtually guarantee an album rock/VH-1 bulls-eye (Sheryl Crow. Macy Gray and Heartbreaker Mike Campbell among them), Shangri-La is one of those archetypal "it takes a few listens" albums -- although even songs like the meandering title track do eventually make an impression. On first spin, however, the Crow-produced tracks -- "Too Far From Texas" (a country-rock tearjerker) and "That Made Me Stronger" (with its subtle trip-hop groove and harmony-laden roots-rock chorus) -- are the ones most liable to get lodged in the noggin. The latter tune, in particular, seems less like the product of our Gold Dust Woman than of Sheryl herself, what with lines like "I asked will you write this for me/you said no, you write your songs yourself/that made me stronger." Still, by rockin' and railin' about the male/female power balance in the so-called post-feminist world, Nicks boldly brings out the yucky feelings, redeeming them through one line in one song. And even three decades into her career, that's still her unique power. (DENISE SULLIVAN - May 1, 2001)

from VH1.com

Stevie Nicks
Trouble in Shangri-La

The most telling lyrical moment on Stevie Nicks' first solo release since 1994 (and the successful Fleetwood Mac reunion) comes on "That Made Me Stronger." The song relates a dinner conversation with Tom Petty, who in 1981 co-wrote and sang one of Nicks' biggest solo hits, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." This is the chorus: "Well you know me better than I know myself/ Can you write this for me/ He says no, you write your songs yourself/ That made me stronger/ It made me hold onto me."

There's nothing wrong with a taking a friend's advice, but shop talk makes for an extremely self-indulgent lyric. The music on "That Made Me Stronger" is handsomely produced by Sheryl Crow and her guitar player, Jeff Trott, but the tune (and this collection) suggests two things about Stevie Nicks. One is that despite her "Behind the Music" history of affairs and drugs, she's still not one to see beyond the cushy perspective of rock star privilege. The other is that she is at her best when pushed by a talented collaborator — be it her old flame, Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, or, in this case, Crow, who had her hand in four of the album's strongest tunes.

All told, eight producers (including Nicks) were involved in the production of Trouble in Shangri-La, and not everybody is up to the challenge. Non-fans will mock the Hollywood-Babylon title tune "I hear there's trouble in Shangri-La/ I run through the grass/ I run over stones/ Show me the way back ... to the sea." What, no room at the Hotel California? Nicks often writes lyrics in this clipped style, and her choppy clumps of words don't always paint a coherent picture. Some gaffs are perfectly clear, like on "I Miss You," where Nicks adds lyrics to producer Rick Nowels' music. "Well I miss you now," goes the chorus. "I have so many questions/ About love and about pain/ About strained relationships/ About fame as only he could explain it to me."

Crow puts some musical bite behind the blather. "Sorcerer" features the requisite mysterious lady from the mountains, but it's also got a thicket of guitars that crest into a rocking chorus. Nicks' throaty voice is supported by a lovely Crow harmony on the folkish "It's Only Love," while "Too Far From Texas", a country-rock duet with Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, is perhaps the freshest music of the set. Too bad Macy Gray's guest vocal on "Bombay Sapphires" is all but lost in the only song produced by Nicks alone. All of which suggests once more that, like many performers who rise to fame as part of a rock and roll band, Stevie Nicks is only as good as the company she keeps.

from US Weekly

The Bella Donna casts another solo spell.

Stevie Nicks

"I AM SOMETHING OF A DREAMER," Stevie Nicks sings on "Candlebright," the mandolin-driven second song on her excellent new album, Trouble in Shangri-La. Has a major artist ever made so self-evident a statement? Spinning highly charged fables of latter-day lords and ladies, dream weaver Nicks plays the resigned but ever hopeful fairy princess waiting for some gallant hero to sweep her off her feet. The sobering accumulation of life experiences by the former Fleetwood Mac chanteuse, combined with the gauzy mysticism that has been her hallmark since she twirled herself dizzy to "Rhiannon," makes for an attractively ripe set of songs, her first new collection since the largely forgotten Street Angel in 1994. Nicks has never sounded more grounded or passionate than on Shangri-La, which is her best and most varied work as a solo artist. The title track has an urgent propulsion reminiscent of "Edge of Seventeen," albeit with a more adult outlook, while "Fall From Grace" is a galloping, intense rocker that would be impressive for an artist of any age, especially one on the edge of 53. While the fire is entirely of Nicks's making, she's joined by eager acolytes like Sheryl Crow, who coproduced and plays on five songs. These include the eloquent "Sorcerer" -- listen to Nicks's brief, angelic ascent into falsetto - which is as lyrically and musically concise as her work with ex-partner Lindsey Buckingham (think "Landslide") in Fleetwood Mac. R&B singer Macy Gray adds soulful spice to "Bombay Sapphires," and Natalie Maines (of the Dixie Chicks) imparts twang to the countrified lover's lament "Too Far From Texas," an earthy departure for Nicks. Mainly, though, Shangri-La is a triumph of resurgent creativity and a profoundly gusty second wind.

(Rated 3 1/2 stars) Nicks is back, at her bewitching best

from the may 8th issue of the UK Magazine, Hello

A bewitching and long-awaited album by the supremely talented singer songwriter. Rich musically and superbly crafted songs fill Trouble In Shangri-La. Nicks delivers the classic American vocal - her voice is deeper than before, scorched by the desert sun, full of tragic beauty. The haunting 'Candlbright' and classic 'Sorcerer' - both written in the early 70's are immediate favourites. Lindsey Buckingham, her one-time partner from Fleetwood Mac plays guitar on the lush ballad 'I Miss You', Macy Gray contributes vocals to 'Bombay Sapphire' and Sherly Crow's collaboration on five tracks has added to the magic of this exceptional album where every song is a winner. Highly recommended.

from Wall of Sound

What becomes a legend most? Getting back to work, apparently.

Stevie Nicks has spent more than a quarter century establishing a reputation as one of rock's most influential artists. But since 1994's half-baked Street Angel, she's released precious little music that suggested her creative juices were still flowing freely; her finest moment on Fleetwood Mac's reunion disc, The Dance, "Silver Springs," was a leftover from 1977's Rumours. The 1998 three-CD solo set Enchanted did much to shore up Nicks' legend, but in the silence that followed, it seemed increasingly unlikely that any new material she wrote would be heard outside the confines of her Arizona ranch.

Trouble in Shangri-La was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait; Nicks' sixth solo album is her strongest since 1983's The Wild Heart. While tracks like the mandolin-laced "Candlebright," "Sorcerer," and "Planets of the Universe" play into Stevie's mythological role as shawl-wearing mystic, the album is firmly rooted in the here-and-now by memorable songs and dynamic performances. "That Made Me Stronger," a tune inspired by Tom Petty's refusal to help Nicks write new material, is a captivating reminder of her gifts as a storyteller. But the finest songs among these 13 tracks — the stripped-down "Every Day," the closing "Love Is" (produced by Sarah McLachlan knob-twiddler Pierre Marchand) — are the ones that, like her classics "Stand Back" or "Edge of Seventeen," crystallize a powerful sentiment or flash of emotion in an arresting pop composition.

During her time on the mountain, much has been made of Nicks' role in inspiring other artists. But while Shangri-La boasts a plethora of big-name guest stars, the collaborations feel natural, particularly "Too Far From Texas," which finds Stevie, Sheryl Crow (who co-produced five tracks), and Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks accompanied by the Heartbreakers (sans Petty). The aforementioned McLachlan provides piano on "Love Is," and Nicks' distinctive vibrato meets its match in Macy Gray's on "Bombay Sapphire." Even Nicks' longtime romantic and creative foil, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, pops up on "I Miss You." Despite having so many cooks in the kitchen, Nicks has no trouble commanding the spotlight throughout the 52-minute disc. Trouble in Shangri-La has brought Stevie back down to Earth — and might well return her to the pop charts, too. — Kurt B. Reighley

Billboard, May 5
Nicks' first solo set in five years positions the rock legend as this year's comeback equivalent to Carlos Santana. Offering her strongest material since her 1982 [sic] landmark, Bella Donna, Nicks is radiant as she vamps through guitar-charged rockers that deftly balance her signature poetry with sticky pop hooks. While much ado will be made of the glittery guests on Shangri-La -- including Sheryl Crow (who also produced five cuts), Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan, and Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks -- none pulls the listener's ear away from Nicks. Rather, they quietly compliment her, seemingly approaching the set as fans paying homage. Radio programmers are embracing the fine first two singles, "Planets of the Universe" and "Every Day," although there are even better tunes: the white-knuckled anthem "Fall From Grace," the sweetly introspective "It's Only Love," and the elegant, piano-laced ballad "Love Is." A stellar return for a true rock original.
from 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 Angel Street. 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"). Crow comes over to the other side of the board on "Sorcerer," which she cowrote with Nicks. 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
W Magazine, May 2001, page 128 - Critical Eye,

From the opening strains of her new solo album, Trouble in Shangri-La (Reprise), her first since 1994's Street Angel, it's clear that Nicks is once again in peak form. "You and I will simply disappear, out of sight," she croons on "Planets of the Universe," somehow managing to be apocalyptic and uplifting at the same time as her reedy voice seems to shrug off its earthly bonds and fill up the cosmos. As ever, Nicks' lyrics are the stuff of velvet-bound journals and metallic-gold pen--unicorn-bedecked bits of heartsick poetry forged in adolescence and seasoned by years of hard living, detox, emotional upheaval, fame and survival. Accordingly, "Bombay Sapphire," a lite-FM duet with Macy Gray (perhaps the only chanteuse with a raspier voice) is an ode not to top-shelf gin-Nicks hasn't touched the stuff in years-but to the calming power of the sea.

On several other tracks, Nicks teams with Sheryl Crow and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, but they both seem perfectly superfluous. Like poor Christine McVie back in the day, Nicks leaves them chocking on her pixie dust.

May/June 2001

Stevie Nicks: "Trouble in Shangri-la"
Even without some help from her friends, Stevie Nicks finds herself again.

Every terminally pampered rock star should have a realization like the one Stevie Nicks describes in "That Made Me Stronger." A chronicle of the steps Nicks took to make "Trouble in Shangri-la", her first album since 1994, the song centers around a typical rich- person approach to problem solving: her first thought was to hire others to help with the song writing. The chorus tells of one conversation (in interviews, she's said it was with Tom Petty) in which the queen of the gold dust demimonde wheedles & begs: "Well, you know me better than I know myself, could you write this for me?". The response, snapped out over a banging j. Geils-ish rhythm guitar: "No, you write your songs yourself." The lesson: "That made me stronger, that made me hold on to me."

Good thing too. Because unlike other legends in her tax bracket, Nicks actually has something to say for herself after all these years. She's been thinking about the ways her identity has been sacrificed to (or subsumed by) love, about the illusions she's held & shed. She's put those ideas down in plain words & plaintive melodies, devised song structures that rely on genuine hooks & unusual interludes & concocted a crafty update of California pop, shot through with the insights & ravings of a sometimes-lonely desert mystic.

Still, the disciplined songs of "Trouble" occasionally scream "Warning! Career Rehabilitation in Progress!" There are the inevitable trips back to past glories (most odiously the title track, which sounds like a computer-generated composite of previous Nicks Hits), & musical elements transplanted from her bellowing Eighties arena songs. There are contributions from present-day disciples (Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan) & a big helping of Sheryl Crow, who co- wrote several songs & produced five gems, including the ethereal "Sorcerer", a gorgeous reverie that recalls the contemplative mood Nicks first explored in the pre-Fleetwood Mac days of Buckingham/Nicks.

Mostly, there is a wise woman with a wickeder-than-ever voice who admits to being "something of a dreamer". Though she's suffered scorn for that cosmic mumbo-jumbo that helped make her famous, Nicks won't back down: One of Trouble's wondrous songs, "Planets of the Universe", expresses worry about global warming in disarmingly eloquent terms.

Still, most of the songs are about earthly love & devotion, & that's where her artistic growth is inescapable. Having once accepted such polarized Venus/Mars definitions of love as "give to me your leather, take from me my lace", Nicks has discovered a whole realm of nuance: she effortlessly expresses awe ("Everyday") & regret ("I Miss You") & with the whispery "Its Only Love" captures relationship tumult with the kind of hushed phrases and feathery touches that often escaped her back when.

She closes "That Made Me Stronger" by repeating the mantra "I don't want to go back & nothing you can say can change my mind" & even though its just an ordinary pop vow, you hear the conviction in her voice, & you believe her. Because it sounds like she understands that she has no other choice.

Review of "Planets of the Universe" and "Everyday" From Billboard Magazine
April 7, 2001

One of music's true originals previews Trouble in Shangri-La, her first studio collection in five years, with a sterling pair of tunes that nicely reflects the project's overall tone. "Planets of the Universe" shows Nicks in classic form, wrapping her unique brand of romantic poetry in jittery electric guitars and a chugging groove, a la her now signature 1982 smash "Edge of Seventeen." Meanwhile, "Every Day" casts the artist in a more time-conscious mode, as she gamely interprets a sweet John Shanks/ Damon Johnston song amid cozy swirl of synths and strumming acoustic guitars. Although "Planets" is wisely aimed at mainstream rock and triple A formats and "Every Day" is geared toward AC and top 40 outlets, the currently quirky (that is, narrow-cast) nature of radio dictates that Nicks' best shot at airplay for either track is at AC. Given a choice most programmers wil likely opt for "Planets," if only because it's her strongest self-penned effort in years. It's also a refreshingly vibrant, instantly memorable recording on which Nicks performs with the kind of heart that's made her an enduring rock heroine. In the end, though, both songs are several notches above the material currently vying for attention right now. You can't lose by choosing either tune. --Larry Flick.

Stevie Nicks
Trouble in Shangri-la
After 1994's spotty "Street Angel," Stevie Nicks' first solo outing in seven years, "Trouble in Shangri-La," is a return to form in terms of songwriting craft and vocal commitment. Her melodies are characteristically complex, buoyed by gorgeous counter-melodies and her own background flourishes. Such is the case with the title track, a sprawling epic that works as a spectral warning of the dangers of indulgence ("You can consume all the beauty in the room, baby, I know you can and I've seen you do it," she sings.). Her distinctive voice occupies every peak and valley as she exhibits the kind vocal might that elevated her to the role as the high priestess of rock in the late '70s. On "Sorcerer," where she receives back-up from Sheryl Crow, Nicks rediscovers her upper register, hitting high notes she hasn't attempted in years. The VH-1 ready-made "Everyday" is a sweet, delicate mid-tempo ballad where Nicks coos romantically, "Don't keep me hanging on a string, tell me what I feel is no big thing... Don't give me visions to explain." Her duet with Dixie Chick Natalie Maines on "Too Far From Texas" is a bracing country ode to lost love. ("Maybe my love could fly over the ocean, maybe my heart should try to leave him alone.") Interestingly, the disc's plethora of guests stick to the sidelines, only offering the occasional harmony vocal or guitar lick. Fans of Nicks' work will have plenty to get into here - from the propulsive "Planets of the Universe" to the sparse acoustic offering "It's Only Love." After three decades of making music, Nicks remains the most relevant of rock goddesses. She's never lost any of her mystery or allure, which is so horribly absent from today's pop charts, while standing firm at the top of her craft. This sterling disc will assure that worship at the Temple of Stevie will continue uninterrupted.
- Rick Dunn (Boston) [newspaper editor]

from www.virtualcardiff.co.uk

Stevie Nicks (Album) - 'Trouble In Shangri-La' - HS
23 April, 01
Stevie Nicks
Trouble In Shangri-La

It's a matter of seconds before album opener and title track 'Trouble In Shangri-La' reveals the distinctly nasal vocals of one of rock's greatest achievers - Stevie Nicks. Solo albums by big name rock artists are always in danger of having shed loads of money thrown at them, lavish over production, and too many big name guest appearances. But lavish production and Sheryl Crow excused, Stevie Nicks' latest effort features some of her best material to date. Nicks and hungry Fleetwood Mac fans will not be disappointed. There are a couple of obvious potential singles here, the extremely catchy 'Every Day' and the ballad 'It's Only Love' (the one which features Sheryl Crow). As good as the aforementioned tracks are, their chances of surviving the current UK chart climate are undoubtedly very slim, whereas their potential in the current U.S. market is probably massive. The country rock tinged 'Sorcerer' and (aptly titled) 'Too Far From Texas' see Nicks diverting from her usual MOR genre - and I have to say both are a breath of fresh air. MOR, Country Rock, ballads, 'Trouble in Shangri-La' is a varied album which offers something new with each listen.


STEVIE NICKS Trouble In Shangri-La (Warner) Rating: NNNN

It's been almost eight years since Stevie Nicks released a solo disc -- touring with a reformed Fleetwood Mac is time-consuming work, evidently -- and three songs here are previously unrecorded holdovers from the 70s. But Nicks couldn't have returned with anything better than Trouble In Shangri-La (out Tuesday). Eschewing Welsh witches and other spooky maidens for a grittier lyrical palette drawn from real life (read Lindsey), and collaborating with everyone from Macy Gray to Sheryl Crow, Nicks crafts timeless and relentlessly melodic pop that speaks sharply without being stern. Alternately moody and hopeful, with a revelatory centrepiece track inspired by Tom Petty, Shangri-La never loses steam and never stumbles. This is the Nicks record fans have been awaiting.


from Canoe

Solo Stevie a singular pleasure

By MIKE ROSS Edmonton Sun

Stevie Nicks

Take your pick: Bad drugs or bad relationships.

Stevie Nicks has dealt with both to the point that one could take her heartbreak songs either way. Take Planets of the Universe, one of the more "out-there" tracks on her first solo album in seven years: "You will never love again the way you love me/you will never rule again the way you ruled me."

Presumably free now from bad drugs or bad lovers, Nicks's personality is more present here than on 1994's Street Angel. With distinctive catty rasp in fine form, she fleshes out plenty of old ghosts - from being in the midst of despair (Sorcerer) to rehashing the Fleetwood Mac saga (Fall From Grace) to relating a pep talk she got from Tom Petty on That Made Me Stronger.

She sings, "Can you write this for me? He says, no, you write your songs yourself."

So she did. And while Petty may have turned her down this time, Nicks enlisted lots of help - a veritable Lilith Fairian posse of special guests - and one could argue that she needs it. Without Sheryl Crow, who produced and sang backup on several tracks - along with writing one of the best songs, It's Only Love, specifically about Nicks - this might've turned into a watered-down version of Fleetwood Mac. Of course, there are worse fates.

Also lifting it up is Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, who adds a sassy country flair on Too Far From Texas, a classic long-distance heartbreak tune. The other guests, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and Lindsey Buckingham, are largely lost in the shuffle. Still, despite its flaws, this could be Stevie's best solo work to date - at least on one where she did most of the work.

Q Magazine
Trouble in Shangri La
Reviewed: June 2001 Genre: Rock Label: WARNERS
Release Date:30-Apr-2001
Key Tracks: Candlebright Sorcerer Everyday
Reviewed by James McNair

Those whose most recent memory of Stevie Nicks is her reserved performance on Fleetwood Mac's 1997 reunion album, The Dance, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Trouble In Shangri-La finds her throaty drawl restored to its former glory, and Nicks's supporting cast of younger, equally gifted gal pals - Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines - has obviously inspired her. Comfortingly, the songs are still peopled by sorcerers, former lovers and "ladies from the mountain", and both Everyday and Candlebright have FM-friendly choruses as big as their writer's hair. Those still curious about the relationship soap-opera that underpinned Nicks's former band should also note that ex-boyfriend Lindsay Buckingham plays lead guitar on I Miss You. Seems it's never quite over when the Mac lady sings.

Barnes & Noble

by Bill Crandall
Stevie Nicks's new album could very well be called "Stevie Nicks and Friends." Aided and abetted by Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, and the Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell, Trouble in Shangri-La is a friendly affair, indeed. Crow proves to be Nicks's greatest pal, grounding Nicks in no-nonsense arrangements. (In the past, Nicks has occasionally let overproduction eclipse her stellar songwriting.) The rootsy but spooky "Sorcerer" and "Candlebright" meld Nicks's mysticism and Crow's earthiness especially well. As for the other guests: the throaty Gray adds even more resonance to Nicks's darn-near-Marianne-Faithfull-low vocals on "Bombay Sapphire"; Maines is right at home trading verses on the twangy "Too Far from Texas" (a song that finds Campbell echoing his signature guitar work from "Stop Dragging My Heart Around"); and McLachlan's lofty harmonies prove a pretty foil for Nicks on the closing ballad, "Love Is." Despite all the input, Nicks seems very much in charge here, her songs suffusing the album with her deeply personal reflections on love, loss, and triumph. "That Made Me Stronger" -- inspired by Tom Petty, who turned down Nicks's plea for collaborative help, saying, "You write your songs yourself" -- is typical of her candor. Whether she's on her own or with her friends, the songs on Trouble in Shangri-La make Nicks strong indeed.

New York Post - May 1st

by Dan Aquilante Trouble in Shangri-La--3 stars
Stevie Nicks, rumored to be the best voice that ever fronted seminal rock outfit Fleetwood Mac, returns to the solo recording life with today's release of "Trouble in Shangri-La," where the good witch of rock is in great voice with 13 songs of love and fantasy.

Her emotional vocals reveal her as a strong woman willing to risk love's pain for its ultimate reward. With her 53rd birthday later this month, she's written an open-handed, forthright album that's hopeful, optimistic and smart.

If you are already one of Nicks' chicks, you'll love "Trouble in Shangri-La" from start to finish. The title track opens the disc with the singer's husky vocals peeling away the petals of love's flower in an attempt to find its secret.

Those who still remember "The Other Side of the Mirror" and her last solo outing "Street Angel" (1994) will approach this disc with caution, but with the help of Sheryl Crow, who appears on the disc and produced five tracks, this is more of a sure bet.

Other guest singers include Macy Gray, Natalie "Dixie Chick" Maines and Sarah McLachlan. While these pairings are all fine, those looking for a Mac attack should check out her collaboration with her longtime pal and Fleetwood Mac partner Lindsay (sic) Buckingham on the very fine song of lost happiness "I Miss You."

This is a carefully put together, very good collection. It had to be--this good witch's career couldn't stand another bad record falling on her like a house.

from the Denver Rocky Mountain News

Stevie Nicks
Trouble in Shangri-la
Reprise Records

Somewhere along the line, Stevie Nicks fell into the same trap nearly all great songwriters do at some point; She forgot that she's a songwriter and believed that she was a rock star. So after being a rock star in the '80s (successfully) and the '90s (unsuccessfully), she's gotten back to concentrating on saying something rather than just being something. Everyone knows the classics she's written, topped by the impossibly dark Dreams and countered by the hopeful Landslide. The hits kept coming over the years, even as they got more indecipherable. (I've yet to hear a rational explanation, from her or anyone else, of what her biggest solo hit, Edge of Seventeen, could possibly be about.) Yet she continued writing great songs, even if they got buried deep in Fleetwood Mac or solo album. Storms was one of the most affecting, vulnerable, confessional songs she ever wrote, hidden deep inside Tusk. When I See you Again is a heartbreaking song of achingly lost love, again dumped unceremoniously onto the end of the 1987 Tango in the Night album. And the Rumours-era accusatory triumph Silver Springs was relegated to the flip side of a 45 until Fleetwood Mac finally had the sense to make it the centerpiece of the band's 1997 reunion tour and live album.
It wasn't just the band that disrespected her. She did it to herself too; generic hits such as Talk to Me were no match for the darker, more personal material that she seemed to hide. The proof: Outside the Rain and How Still My Love, from her solo debut, Belladonna, and even Garbo, buried by Nicks herself on a B-side (though she rescued that and many of her other best songs for her 1998 Enchanted boxed set). Many great songwriters go through bursts of brilliance and come up with more great material in a short period of timethan most do in a career. Neil Young keeps pulling gems out of his fiery late '70s period; Pete Townsend returns repeatedly to the Lifehouse songs that fueled his early-'70s work. Likewise, Nicks has finally gone back and rescued three abandoned tunes from her most inspired era. The oft-bootlegged Nomad finally turns up in an official release here as Candlebright, complete with all the Nicks trappings and imagery: dreams, love, flying. Sorcerer revisits familiar Nicks ground as well. More remarkably, the newer songs fit in nicely with the vintage Nicks, with a duet with Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks being an unexpected highlight. Despite a variety of producers, songwriters and guests (including Sheryl Crow handling all three duties), Trouble in Shangri-la has a consistent tone and ranks among Nicks' best solo work.

from the Boston Herald

Nicks is back in top ethereal form Discs Sunday, May 6, 2001
Trouble in Shangri-La(Reprise)

Stevie Nicks may have missed the Lilith Fair, but she makes up for lost time on her first new album in seven years, ``Trouble in Shangri-La.''Sarah McLachalan, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, Macy Gray and Sheryl Crow all lend a hand on this solid if unspectacular work that eases right into Nicks' canon of dreamy songs.

Crow is the special collaborator. She sings and plays on six tracks, co-produced five and wrote one, the lovely acoustic ballad ``It's Only Love.'' The other women prove equally simpatico vocalists, especially husky Nicks-soundalike Gray on the acoustic guitar-laced ``Bombay Sapphires.'' A few guys pitch in as well, including former paramour Lindsey Buckingham and several of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers.

While some of the best songs here have copyrights from the '70s - the gauzy ``Planets of the Universe'' and the Fleetwood Mac-esque ``Sorcerer'' - the return of Nicks' throaty vocals and witchy, windswept imagery are most welcome.

from music.com

Stevie Nicks
Trouble in Shangri-La
Release Date: 05.01.2001
Reprise Records

Here she goes again, seeing crystal visions. On her first album in seven years, Trouble in Shangri-La, witchy woman Stevie Nicks is up to her old magic tricks. A quick glance over song titles –“Candlebright,” “Sorcerer,” “Planets of the Universe,” “Bombay Sapphires”-- reveals that much hasn’t changed since 1994’s bomb Street Angel. Of course, Nicks hasn’t been just kicking back and watching the unicorns frolic since then. She took part in Fleetwood Mac’s world-dominating reunion a few years back and even assembled a three-disc box set of her solo material.

Trouble in Shangri-La, however, finds Nicks with a bunch of new friends (Sheryl Crow, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, Macy Gray, and Sarah McLachlan, among them) on a bunch of new songs about the same old thing. Things, as usual, get confessional, but now that Nicks no longer rings like a bell through the night, they strike a more poignant note. “I have so many questions about love and about pain/About strained relationships/About fame…” she sings on the pretty and plaintive “I Miss You,” and there’s definite heartache there.

It’s as if it’s all finally caught up to Nicks, the game Kurt Cobain and a bunch of other distressed souls told us about in the ‘90s: fame ain’t all that great. The title, Trouble in Shangri-La, says it all. There are a times where Nicks empties her head and just rolls on, like on “Planets of the Universe,” but for a good deal of the time she looks back, with some regret, on the sacrifices she’s made for her career (no husband, no kids, etc.). It’s the cause and effect. The give and take. You know what they say, girl: Thunder only happens when it’s raining.

-- Michael Gallucci --

from the Advocate

Stevie Nicks/Trouble in Shangri-La (Reprise)
It may not seem like it, but Stevie Nicks never really dropped out of sight after releasing her last studio album, Street Angel, in 1994. Most notably, 1997 saw her reunite with the rest of Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac, followed a year later by a box set of her solo work. Nonetheless, it was a marked downshift for an artist who produced enough material for four albums (plus a retrospective) of her own between 1981 and 1992, in addition to three discs (plus two retrospectives) for Fleetwood Mac. So when Nicks gravely intones, “I run through the grass / I run over the stones / Show me the way back...to the sea” on Trouble in Shangri-La’s brooding title track, she quite naturally sounds like a sleeper roused out of a foreboding dream and into action. Musically, Nicks avoids the pitfalls of the past—Rock a Little’s overproduction, Street Angel’s prosaism—but misses the peaks as well: The drug-themed “Sorcerer” doesn’t haunt like “Gold Dust Woman,” the rocking “Fall From Grace” doesn’t stun like “Edge of Seventeen,” and the gathering storm in the title track isn’t as ominous as the you-talkin’-to-me? stomp of “Whole Lotta Trouble.” Instead, Shangri-La works in more subtle ways, saving the radio-friendliest hooks for the simpler songs (“Every Day,” “It’s Only Love”) and showcasing sweeter pitches than we normally hear from Nicks. Credit this approach to Sheryl Crow, Nicks’s de facto coperformer and enabler, who appears variously as musician, singer, writer, and producer on what amounts to the more straightforward half of the album. Still, it’s Stevie’s show all the way, and it’s telling that despite the impressive list of guest vocalists—Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, and, in an inspired convergence of raspiness, Macy Gray—she overshadows them all in the final mix. At a time when it might have been enough to have any album at all until the next Mac reunion, Trouble in Shangri-La renews hope in Nicks’s solo future as well.

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