There's one school of thought that Stevie Nicks just can't cut it as a solo artist, that without the tempering influences of her Fleetwood Mac mates, she's just another voice adrift in an ocean of mediocre talent.
Then there are those who say Stevie Nicks is wasting her talents with Fleetwood Mac, that her solo albums have been far and away better than anything she did with the Fleetwood Dinosaurs.Ironically, Stevie's latest solo LP, "The Other Side of the Mirror," gives ammunition to both camps. Not only is "Mirror" the best of her four solo albums, but the strongest cuts on the album are those in which she teams with creative talents like Bruce Hornsby, Mike Campbell, Rupert Hine and Kenny G.
Whichever camp you belong to, though, the bottom line on "Mirror" is that the bewitching Nicks has put together an enjoyable package of 12 songs.
The proof lies in the searing sensuality of the first single "Rooms on Fire." With a voice that is alternately pouting, lilting and lusty, Nicks fairly sizzles in what could be her best single to date . . . "if I do say so myself."
"Mirror" - a takeoff on "Alice Through the Looking Glass" - is far from a one-shot album. There are the thumping rhythms of "Whole Lotta Trouble," the reggae-flavored "I Still Miss Someone (Blue Eyes)" and the rockin' "Long Way to Go." And "Fire Burning" is enough to warm even the coldest of critics.
All are sung in Nicks' distinctive warble, which remains endearing after all these years. And all are cloaked in typical Nicks imagery.
"I'm not ready to tell everybody exactly what the songs are all about," Nicks has said, "because I'd rather people interpret them in terms of their own lives, as opposed to thinking the songs are just about me."
Whether she's better solo than with Fleetwood Mac is anybody's guess. But "Mirror" certainly won't lose her any fans.