Stevie Nicks releases an underwhelming new single

Photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi, Flickr

No matter someone's age, music taste or just general interest in the art of music, it is highly likely that they have heard one of the seminal songs created and performed by the legendary band Fleetwood Mac. One of the biggest reasons why the band is so successful is their lyricism, and the voice and pure charm of Stevie Nicks, who just released her first solo song in six years.

Nicks was always very good when it came to chemistry and partnership on stage with her fellow bandmates, which worked wonders when compared with their individual talents. Her solo works never reached the height of popularity, and arguably the quality, of the songs she created with and for Fleetwood Mac, probably because the band was so consistently strong instrumentally that it did not matter when they occasionally faltered lyrically, a backdrop that Nicks herself does not seem to have.

Her latest single, “Show Them the Way,” is an experimental and unusual piece of music. She has said it was inspired by a dream in which she interacted with several iconic American political figures like John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. who all have impacted her in various ways.

This obviously caused Nicks to have a need to beg God through her song to “show the way” to American citizens who have forgotten “the dreams” and goals the aforementioned political icons represented.

Lyrically, this song sounds like Nicks is randomly singing excerpts from her diary without putting too much thought behind constructing the flow behind her repetitive words. The best compliment I can give to this song is that its positive messaging overshadows some of its faults.

The content of the song is full of washed out lyrics like “Peace can come if you really want it” and “I turned to face the music,” which do not help with the immaturity of the piece. 

Some of the lyrics tackle the subject of eternity of an individual, “Everything was timeless, even me” and “I was thirty-five and maybe I was fifteen,” but sadly those are a few and far between. These work great with the message of hope that this song carries, but they get drowned out by a sappy chorus of “Please God, show them the way” instead of focusing on the improvement of the individual.

Instrumentally, the biggest positive is that Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl recorded the drums on this tune. This grunge and rock icon has not been doing too much drumming since his Nirvana days ended infamously with Kurt Cobain’s death, and he started concentrating on leading his own rock band sensation through the muddy waters of modern rock. 

Hearing Grohl back on drums again made many fans happy, even though his feature brings nothing special to the song, and his individual talents did not seem to influence the creation of the song. Without knowing the context of his feature, I do not believe any fans would be able to recognize that it’s him on the drums based on the sound alone.

When all is said and done, this is a very positive yet mediocre song. The individual musical talents of Nicks and Grohl do not stand out, and Nicks’ lyricism is repetitive and bland. The message and the meaning can be appreciated while also acknowledging that it falls short as a piece of art.

2/5 stars

 

lmarjano@ramapo.edu