Archive for January, 2011


Rock music’s gold dust woman makes a huge splash with her 1983 release, The Wild Heart.

Rocker and Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks shows off her best vocals on her 1983 release "The Wild Heart."

Stevie Nicks is known for having a lush, deep, contra-alto voice. Nicks’ beautiful voice truly shines on such tracks as synthesizer-driven If Anyone Falls. The track only gets better on the chorus, when Nicks is joined by her two backup singers which include die-hard fan favorite band member Lori Perry- Nicks.

However, the best track on this album is the ever-popular Stand Back. Since the album’s release, it has become a staple at both Nicks’ solo shows and Fleetwood Mac concerts. It shows Nicks at her best – complete with vocal prowess.

Nicks also shows what a great songwriter she is on Nothing Ever Changes in which Nicks exclaims “Come back…little boy/ baby come back…yeah…little boy/ Ooh…it’s just me that lies waiting/ Well it could come from anywhere/ oooh it could come straight straight from my heart/ nothing can be saved here.”

The one weakness of this album though is the end trackBeauty and the Beast. To anyone who was born AFTER 1983, do not let this title fool you because it is not inspired by or even talking about the 1992 Disney classic of the same title. She is speaking about the silent film of the same title. It just sounds too slow tempo-wise and doesn’t fit in with the overall album.

Overall the album is comparable to other great artists such as Sheryl Crow and her body of work, who has cited Nicks as an influence and also worked with her. I would recommend this to any fan of independent music because it has a definitive independent feel to it. Overall, it is a great album.


The pretenders

The Pretenders grow up with the release of "Learning to Crawl."

Any true punk rocker or feminist should love the Pretenders. Over time, Chrissie Hynde has brought the band from  underground U.K. band to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend status. Learning to Crawl is quite possibly the quintessential Pretenders album that shows both their artistry and maturity.

The record starts out strong with Middle of the Road, which comes complete with a searing harmonica solo done by Hynde and driving rhythm guitar.

However, the album shines on the song My City Was Gone in which Hynde laments about how her hometown of Akron, OH. The main highlight of this song though is not the lyrics, but very-repetitive bass line. Ironically enough, the song is now the theme to The Rush Limbaugh Show.

Overall, the album is a great album that shows that this band can hold its own against other classic rock bands.

Also, be sure to listen to the hit song Back On the Chain Gang – a tribute to fallen band members James Honeyman-Scott, who died of a drug overdose.

 


Up until 1985, nobody ever would have thought that the words “Amy Grant” and the word “rock star” would have ever been uttered in the same sentence. That is, until 1985 when she released Unguarded.

This was definitely an album that broke many barriers within Contemporary Christian music back in the 1980’s. For starters, not every song was about Christ – some, such as I Love You, were love songs written for her then-husband, Gary Chapman.

For a Christian album, it has very few musical weak spots and one thing is clear: Grant knows how to rock. She proves it on the opening track, Love Of Another Kind, a track that seems reminiscent of  Jump by Van Halen. However, Grant truly shines on Find A Way and Wise Up. However, they sound better when performed in a live setting.

Unguarded shows its weakness in the end song, The Prodigal – which is a retelling of the story of the prodigal son from the perspective of the father. It is simply overproduced and cheesy.

Overall, I would highly recommend this album due to the fact that, for a Christian album, it does state the beliefs of the artist in a very creative way but at the same time, it does not come across as too preachy.