Media Reviews: November 26th, 2014

Stevie Nicks – 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (Reprise Records, Sept. 30)

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Big Machine Records, Oct. 27)

Stevie Nicks – 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (Reprise Records, Sept. 30)

Like pages torn from a diary, 24 Karat Gold takes listeners on a journey through the thoughts of Fleetwood Mac’s front-woman, Stevie Nicks. Each of the 16 tracks was written by Nicks between 1969 and 1995, which shows an evolution in lyricism but not in energy. The album’s sounds are everything one would expect from Nicks and are not held back by her age. Nicks’s voice is not worn-out but wiser, and seems to say “take me back,” as sung in the album’s title track.

Nicks is no stranger to drawing inspiration from her surroundings, and each track becomes a guessing game of the time and place in which it was written. 24 Karat Gold begins with a full-bodied sound that trails off toward the end of the album, but returns in full force with tracks like “The Dealer” and a cover of Vanessa Carlton’s “Carousel.” Through sheer talent and maybe a bit of sorcery, Stevie Nicks has produced another album that affirms why she has earned her title of rock icon. 

– Emily Jeffers

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Big Machine Records, Oct. 27)

With her new album 1989, Taylor Swift has officially made the 180-degree turn from country to pop. And the result sounds great.

Gone are the cowgirl boots and acoustic guitar, and in their place are synthesizers and party dresses. The change, however drastic, has been smooth and effortless, and 1989 is the result of that transition.

The songs, as always with Swift, focus on the complexities of love and relationships. In contrast to her previous work, the new album is upbeat and full of attitude. Her latest singles, “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space,” are reactions to the negative ways in which the media has portrayed her over the years. The message seems to be the following: “You can say whatever you want about me and I don’t care.” It’s a fantastic message at that.

Whether you’re a country music fan who has followed Taylor Swift since her debut, or a pop enthusiast and a new listener, 1989 is full of great new tunes for all to enjoy.

– Amanda Cormier

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