Monday, October 26, 2020

Stevie Nicks Review

If you were wondering what Weird Al Yankovic was doing with all his free time during 2020, look no further than this track. It seems he’s made a looney tunes style mask of Stevie Nicks to wear and record this song with. Okay, maybe that’s a bit far but for her first solo in 6 years this track is disappointing and a far cry from the genius that wrote songs like “Edge of Seventeen”. 

In a world where just this year a bunch of famous faces received massive public backlash when they released their cringe-worthy rendition of “Imagine” in the midst of a global pandemic, releasing this song seems like an incredibly tone-deaf move on behalf of Nicks’ team.

I understand the argument that music and politics should be separate to an extent, but this is at its core a politically charged song and so in order to review it properly you have to consider the intention and the context in which it was released. 


Stevie’s lyrics conflate world peace with the civil rights and BLM movement and in doing so creates a real sense of arrogance and ignorance through her chants of “peace can come if we really want it”. The song was written in 2008 and when talking about why she released it now Nicks has been quoted saying “I never recorded it until now. I felt that this was its time, its reason. I understood what it meant then and what it means now”. This feels incredibly insensitive because there is a presumption of self-importance in what she is saying. The current civil rights movement does not need Stevie Nicks to ramble about a time she had a dream about MLK. We are in the middle of a very important global discussion about race and race tensions and the fact that Stevie Nicks feels that her song needs to be heard as part of this discussion is outlandish and highlights a wider issue about who we, as a society, feel should lead discussions about political movements and race. Personally, I don’t think it should be Stevie Nicks, at least not the name-dropping oblivious version of her that made an appearance on this track.  

Rolling Stone has called this song “powerful” and it made me wonder if I had heard the same thing they had. Political context aside, musically the song can be summed up with one word, jarring. It is obvious that the lyrics were written before any of the instrumentals and this comes through clearly in the finished product. The instrumentation doesn’t lend itself to the song or the message, instead they struggle to squeeze themselves around the rambling lyrics Nicks has produced. 

Further to this, at six minutes long with a preachy, holier-than-thou attitude the song drags and overstays its welcome. Dave Grohl is stated as a feature on the song and while he lends his drumming skills to the track, it feels like a wasted opportunity. The drums are definitely there in the song, but with no drum solo or vocals to lend, it feels like there was no need to bill Grohl as a feature at all. Overall, despite its awkward melody, the production of the song is smooth and I feel like had they gone a different direction with the lyrics, it would have had great potential. 

After all of this, I am left with one overarching thought which is that it really is true that no one wants to hear about a dream that you once had. Not even if you are Stevie Nicks.

- Dilara Ball

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