Stevie Nicks - 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault
Artists that are passionate about their music are always writing and recording new music, but whether or not that music may see the light of day is completely up to the artists' and their labels. That's where compilations come into play, and the eighth studio album from legendary Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks is a fine collection of new versions of demos that Nicks recorded between 1969 and 1987, as well as 1995 and 1996. The production and sustainability of Nicks' vocals come together perfectly to give us Nicks' best album in years.
The first track, 'Starshine,' is a sweet and upbeat tune that gives us insight into to performance we should expect from Nicks', as her vocals are strong and soulful, even after all these years. Lady Antebellum proves a decent counterpart to Nicks' on the track 'Blue Water,' a soft and lovely song that is pure classic Nicks'. Tracks like '24 Karat Gold' and 'Lady' are light ballads that showcase how Nicks' vocals soar and stretch to amazing heights, though not nearly as well as her younger self may have been able to achieve. From 'I Don't Care' to 'Belle Fleur,' Nicks' ability to possess and dominate with not only her songwriting but her stellar manipulation of her vocals make the album all the more reminiscent of her earlier works, but with a modern twist. 'Carousel,' the only cover on the album, is a tribute to Nicks' deceased mother, who loved the song as well as the original artist, Vanessa Carlton. Carlton was present at the time of Nicks' mother's death and provided a lot of support for the family in their time of need. 'If You Were My Love' and 'She Loves Him Still' are beautiful love songs that make the listener yearn for the days of young love and passionate recklessness.
I have always loved Nicks' and her voice, and she has certainly earned her place in the pages of rock history. I find it all too often that many artists whose peak may be decades behind them allow themselves to let their voices go and when any attempt is made to relight that fire it fails because the magic is lost through poor vocals and listless performances, but this is not the case with Nicks. She has taken care of her voice and sounds almost as good as she did on any Fleetwood Mac album. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and am happy to see that old habits die hard when it comes to the classics and the people who helped pioneer an entire genre of music.