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Album Review

Dreamy tunes from chanteuse Nicks

(Richard Drew/Associated Press)
May 9, 2011

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When Stevie Nicks toured with Rod Stewart recently, she favored her biggest solo and Fleetwood Mac hits, playing only one tune from this, her first new album in a decade. She could easily have played a couple more, as “In Your Dreams’’ is a solid effort, chock-full of the things that Nicks’s fans have come to enjoy about their twirling, dusky-voiced, mystically inclined chanteuse.

With help from producers Dave Stewart of Eurythmics — who co-wrote seven songs as well — and Glen Ballard, Nicks sings of big loves and losses and sprinkles them with her enchanted glitter of optimism, melancholy, ecstasy, and regret.

“Wide Sargasso Sea’’ is as expansive as the novel from which it takes its inspiration, as Nicks mixes up warm acoustic strumming, twinkling keys, and a great shock of electric guitar rock riffery from longtime musical companion Waddy Wachtel.

Old flame and Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham drops by to add harmonies and guitar to the emotional ballad “Soldier’s Angel.’’ She longs for Bourbon Street on “New Orleans,’’ a haunted track that is simultaneously solemn and celebratory. And she remembers with a palpable bittersweetness a love that wasn’t meant to be on the tender “For What It’s Worth.’’

As usual, she also rocks a little, picking up the pace and intensity on the title track and the spectral musings of “Ghosts Are Gone.’’

If she occasionally veers into territory too gauzy or fantastical for some — as on the “New Moon’’-inspired “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)’’ or the long-ago-far-away fairy tale of the maiden “Annabel Lee’’ — her inimitable, throaty purr keeps things grounded. SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “For What It’s Worth’’