Nicks flies a lead balloon

STEVIE NICKS: Rock a Little (Modern Records)

If there is an album with more hands in its making, it doesn’t come to mind. More than a dozen studios were used. Six different production credits grace the 11 indifferent tracks. So many engineers worked on the project, a separate list is included in addition to the track-by-track list.

The whole album has the sound of a labored work, pieced together over a long period of time. The heavy-handed production practically swamps Nicks’ tiny voice, virtually a croak of its former self. The dreamy voice that lit Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album sounds a little tattered around the edges.

The songs, too, have little to recommend them. Nicks’ turgid writing leaves scant room for a crisply turned phrase or a pungent line, and would be more appropriate for greeting cards than rock songs. She casts herself as the girl who has everything, but has lost her lover, time and time again. The routine is getting tired by now, and even Nicks can’t disguise her boredom.

Joel Selvin / San Francisco Chronicle / November 24, 1985

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