ALBUM REVIEW: Street Angel, an entertaining flight

Stevie Nicks Street Angel 1994★★★
Street Angel – Stevie Nicks
Modern Records/Atlantic
13 tracks
CD/cassette

Stevie Nicks’s ambitious Street Angel takes flight thanks to her willingness to tackle tough subjects, her stellar guest list, and her voice — sometimes sweet, sometimes raspy — which shines through.

The former voice of Fleetwood Mac is adept at being wistful (“Listen to the Rain”), downright sad (“Rose Garden,” which brings to mind the country classic “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”) or properly respectful — in the case of two of her heroes, actress Greta Garbo and naturalist Jane Goodall, who are the subjects of different songs.

The guest list is an impressive one topped by Bob Dylan, who helps out on his song “Just Like a Woman,” which Nicks decorates with some Dylan-esque inflections. Guitarists Bernie Leadon and Waddy Wachtel make shimmering/ ringing contributions and David Crosby effectively sings backup, but no one gets in the way of Nicks’s generally understated delivery.

Longtime fans may be ambivalent about the two tribute songs — the lyrics are rather lightweight — but Nicks makes them listenable, although neither is as interesting as the title track, a semi-romantic anthem for the homeless. It’s a reach for Nicks to move into social commentary — and to tackle a Dylan song in his presence — but her singing and the music make Street Angel an entertaining flight.

Russ DeVault / Atlantic Journal and Constitution / July 2, 1994

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