Legendary songbird Stevie Nicks released her new single, “The Dealer,” today. The track is the lead single off her upcoming album, 24 Karat Gold, and with it comes a lyric video complete with a soft-focus old photo of the singer. The song was previously recorded in 1979, while Fleetwood Mac was working on their album, Tusk. “The Dealer” didn’t make the cut for that album, but a leaked demo has occasionally popped up among fans. We’d love to say Stevie Nicks can do no wrong in our eyes, but in the case of “The Dealer,” we think some things might have been better left in the ’70s.
Nicks was about 34 when the song was originally recorded and it seems as if she still had a bit of maturing to do with her songwriting. The concept is simple enough: Nicks is coming to terms with past transgressions and unrequited love. Heavy stuff, sure. However, the lyricism is a little immature. We can appreciate that it was written when she was considerably younger, but by mid-30 and well into her career, we expect more. With lines like, “But, you’ll just almost stay here, I’ll just almost hold you,” the lyrics, at some points, seem more like Nicks was grasping for syllables more than good song content.
Furthermore, there’s not much musical growth. In a way, it makes sense that Nicks’ music would still sound so strikingly similar to everything she’s released in the past. Again, this song was written long ago, as are all the other songs on the album. However, she could have used this chance to reboot them with slightly more modern music. Instead, the song still sounds exactly like it came from 1979 — you know, when it was a demo that didn’t make the cut for Tusk. This, of course, will appeal to the vast majority of her longtime fans. However, it leaves us underwhelmed.
Before you skewer us, listen and consider the song.
Is it the worst song ever? No. In every other way, Nicks will continue to be our golden goddess of the music world. Hopefully, the rest of 24 Karat Gold will shine light on brighter, actual gems that have long been forgotten. Just don’t expect us to spend any more time with “The Dealer.”