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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'The Soundstage Sessions [LIVE]' (Reprise)
Artist - Stevie Nicks

I love Stevie Nicks; she's my favorite songwriter/singer. I was thrilled when I found this set was being released. The set-list is great, although I do think the audio component could have had more of the tracks from the 'Live In Chicago' performance this was plucked from.

What intrigued me about this set was the studio quality. The "live" audience track has been removed giving it a more studio feel. This really works. I do feel, however, Stevie should have touched up some of the vocals in that same studio session, especially on the faster rock cuts, like "Stand Back," "If Anyone Falls," and "Fall From Grace."

As for the content ... superb. I am thrilled "Beauty And The Beast" was included on the audio set. Her vocals are chilling. I don't quite understand some people's criticism of her voice. Yes, she blew a hole through her nose with years of cocaine abuse and that's evident in the way she sings today.

Her voice is deeper and that soft, lilting quality she had in the late seventies/early eighties is pretty much gone. But what's left is a deeper, richer quality that I think is refreshing and actually reflects the experience in her words. Even if she hadn't hurt her voice with drug abuse, it still wouldn't be the same. Check out Madonna, Cher, Tina Turner, Ann Wilson, and even Annie Lennox ... a woman's voice deepens as she ages.

That being said, if you order this you have to get the DVD counterpart, 'Live in Chicago.' There are some things I feel Stevie's set always misses, I think a lot of fans would prefer to hear her do more of her solo hits ("Rooms On Fire" and "Talk To Me" for instance, both hits and both sorely missed in her solo concert sets) though I am thrilled at the covers of "Crash Into Me" and "Circle Dance" and the inclusion of Vanessa Carlton's "The One" on the DVD. I would have gladly traded "If Anyone Falls" for "Rooms On FIre" or "Talk To Me." Overall this is a great purchase, but I do wish she would hurry up and record a new studio album! [MM]