Reviews & Previews
**STEVIE NICKS Planets of the Universe (4:21)
PRODUCERS: John Shanks, Stevie Nicks
WRITER: S. Nicks
PUBLISHER: Welsh Witch, BMI
Reprise 00572 (CD promo)
STEVIE NICKS Every Day (3:34)
PRODUCER: John Shanks
WRITERS: J. Shanks, D. Johnston
PUBLISHERS: EMI-Virgin/Little Miss/Line One, ASCAP
Reprise 00570 (CD promo)
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, 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 a 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, narrowcast) nature of radio dictates that Nicks’ best shot at airplay for either track is at AC. Given a choice, most programmers will 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.
CONTRIBUTORS: Patrick Eves, Larry Flick, Rashaun Hall, Chuck Taylor. SPOTLIGHT: Releases deemed by the review editors to deserve attention on the basis of musical merit and/or Billboard chart potential. VITAL REISSUES: Released albums of special artistic, archival, and commercial interest, and outstanding collections of works by one or more artists. PICKS (**): New releases predicted to hit the top half of the chart in the corresponding format. CRITICS’ CHOICES (*): New releases, regardless of chart potential, highly recommended because of their musical merit. MUSIC TO MY EARS (***): New releases deemed PICKS that were featured in the Music to My Ears column as being among the most significant records of the year. All albums commercially available in the U.S. are eligible. Send review copies to Chuck Taylor (Billboard, 770 Broadway, 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10003), or to the writers in the appropriate bureaus.
Billboard / April 7, 2001