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Sound Check

10/15/2014

Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

“24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault”

Reprise

As the title suggests, “24 Karat Gold” is a bit of a spring-cleaning job from the Fleetwood Mac front woman. Spanning Nicks’ more than four decades of work, the album consists of little-heard ballads, previously unreleased tracks and new takes on some of Nicks’ old favorites. The best decision that Nicks made was in not trying to find a band to try and sound like Fleetwood Mac. Instead, she put together a collection of musicians who were willing to play the songs exactly as she envisioned them without trying to force her into being the Stevie Nicks of 40 years ago. Her voice has matured over time — softened and deepened a bit — and carries with it the weight and complexity of all those years and miles. Free of any kind of real expectation, “24 Karat Gold” is the best Nicks has sounded since the early ‘80s. CV

The High CrestThe High Crest

HIV

“Gone”

Independent

The High Crest — the husband and wife duo of Kat Darling and Aaron Earl Short — are swinging for the fences with their latest album. The duo has committed themselves completely to their project, trading their house and car for an RV and the freedom to make The High Crest a 24/7 way of life. “Gone” reflects that giant change in perception. A double disc effort, the album is 24 tracks of new material. The thing that has always set The High Crest apart has been their particular brand of honesty. Short in particular tackles the dark and complex moments (“Goodbye Whiskey”) with a laconic hand and coy sense of humor. The pair’s voices are great, whether you’re hearing them alone or in harmony, and Short’s perfectly imperfect guitar work never tries to do more than it needs to. CV

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