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South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 29, 1994

Section: LIFESTYLE

NICKS DYLANESQUE;
SPIN DOCS GET HAPPY


DEBORAH WILKER

STEVIE NICKS : Street Angel (Modern Records).

The image of a weary, flat Stevie Nicks wretching through Don't Stop at President Clinton's inaugural bash was more jolt than joy. Is this what had become of Fleetwood Mac? A bunch of broken-down hippies who could barely zip up and keep time?

What should have been a glorious return was instead an uncomfortable embarrassment. The reunion offers did not come pouring in.

Nicks wisely has kept her distance from that moment, laying low for the past 18 months while time did the fade-job on the national memory bank. She's out of Fleetwood Mac for good, has a new life and home in Arizona and a new solo set - her fifth since 1981.

Whatever circumstances led to that dreadful inaugural performance aren't evident on this pleasant collection of lite rockers.

That froggy rasp of hers has been likened to Bob Dylan's for years, but never has Nicks captured as much of his edge than on this set. Whether it's the age in her voice, or simple admiration for him, she has got him down, particularly on an adoring cover of Just Like a Woman. Then there's also Blue Denim, during which she reaches for low notes, and in missing them just a bit, contorts as only Dylan can.

But Dylan is hardly the focus of what is essentially the usual shredded-heart set, featuring women who lose big in love and bound back strong. Standouts include Unconditional Love and the heavenly Destiny (which would have made a much better first single than Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind).

Stellar session work from Andy Fairweather Low, Roy Bittan, Waddy Wachtel, Dave Crosby and Dylan himself bring the whole thing up a notch, though brighter melodies throughout would have truly brought it home.