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  #1  
Old 08-19-2015, 02:10 PM
James89 James89 is offline
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Default Is Street Angel really that bad?

I've been listening to Street Angel recently and I really don't think it's as terrible as Stevie makes out. I also find it strange how she absolutely loves TOSOTM and hates Street Angel. Yes, it isn't as good as her other albums and that magic isn't there. Also, her vocals seem very quiet and drowned out in the mix which is quite strange. I do think that tracks such as Blue Denim, Love Is Like a River and Destiny are good but yes, there are a few which are boring and lack talent in the lyric department.

HOWEVER. I think Stevie trashes this album more because of how it did commercially and what state she was in at the time. I simply don't think that this album is far worse than TOSOTM, it's not as good but it certainly doesn't deserve the trashing that it's had.

I wonder why she hates it so much? There's a few good songs there.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2015, 02:34 PM
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I think the main reason she hates it is that making it was such a bad experience for her. She clashed with the producer big-time, and then tried to go back and undo what he did with the songs, and finally just decided to put it out even though she wasn't satisfied with it, because the whole thing had taken so long.

There a few songs on it that I like (I love the Enchanted version of "Street Angel" the song), but even they aren't really among her best tracks.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2015, 03:14 PM
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I have made my bestfriend listen to the album and she liked it and couldn't absolutely see why I deemed it the worst. Probably someone that isn't acquainted with Stevie's imagery can't understand.

I don't think it's such an awful album, rather the production is tasteless. The songs are just subpar, so wholly it is a disappointing album.

Had Stevie had more time I'm sure it would have been a good album, during the tour she had again great voice and stage presence.
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2015, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markolas View Post
I think the main reason she hates it is that making it was such a bad experience for her. She clashed with the producer big-time, and then tried to go back and undo what he did with the songs, and finally just decided to put it out even though she wasn't satisfied with it, because the whole thing had taken so long.
This. I don't think she thinks the songs are bad, otherwise she wouldn't have included as many as she did on "Enchanted". She was just soured by the whole experience of making the album, and yes, perhaps the fact that it didn't sell well.

I personally don't think it's a BAD album. It's just completely different from anything she did before or after. There aren't any witchy songs. It's the closest thing she's done to a completely alt-country album, with a lot of adult contemporary smattered about. It is the "red headed step child" of her catalog.

I enjoy about 1/3 of the record. I love "Blue Denim", "Greta", "Destiny", "Street Angel" and consider "Docklands" a guilty pleasure.
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2015, 03:26 PM
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I tend to think Stevie is dismissive about the album for a couple of reasons:

1) Street Angel was her first solo album to not crack to Top 20 or even 40. It was also her first album to not go Platinum. Street Angel was also her first album which failed to produce a top 40 radio single. Even Behind The Mask had a top 20 debut and a Top 40 single. You see where I'm going with this- for someone who was very used to her albums making a commercial splash, Street Angel was her first flop.

2) Stevie heavily associates the making of the album with her Klonopin use. Unlike when she came out of rehab for cocaine hopeful- she came out of rehab for Klonopin angry. Angry that she'd lost a decade. Angry at the quality and lack of product she'd been releasing. Angry that her star power had greatly diminished. You can hear the indignation in the performances from the Street Angel tour- she came out swinging for each and every show. Talk about some fiery performances!

I think the fact Stevie has completely disowned the album is a shame, though. To me it's Street Angel, NOT Trouble In Shangri La that was her much needed back to basics rock album. The album where she ditched all of the extraneous layers of production and gimmickry. The album where she didn't really take herself too seriously, and the flowery excesses were left at the door. Street Angel has some really fantastic music on it. Great rock songs like Blue Denim, Listen To The Rain, Love Is Like A River, and Kick It. Gorgeously deep and philosophical songs like the title track. Fun little tunes like Greta. Yes, Street Angel has it's clunkers. Every Stevie album does. I think what sets Street Angel's apart though is just how bad those clunkers are. Is that why it's so reviled among the fan community? I'm still not sure. I think Stevie's personal bias against this album plays a bigger part. And again, I think that's unfortunate. Because there's good stuff here!
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by louielouie2000 View Post
You can hear the indignation in the performances from the Street Angel tour- she came out swinging for each and every show. Talk about some fiery performances!
Yep! And unfortunately her vocals haven't been as passionate on stage SINCE the Street Angel tour!
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2015, 04:25 PM
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Not to mention that at the time everyone talked about her weight.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2015, 06:19 PM
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I personally love a few songs on the album, namely Blue Denim (although I prefer the single version), and Docklands, while I don't mind some others (original mix of Street Angel and Destiny). I think Stevie constantly trash-talks the album because she was in a bad place when it was made, and didn't have much control over it (like louielouie2000 said)
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2015, 06:48 PM
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The only two songs I really don't care for on Street Angel are Destiny and Unconditional Love... Destiny is far too country sounding, and the rhythm sounds weird to me? Considering the Wild Heart demo is one of my very favourite Stevie performances, I don't like it. And Unconditional Love is ruined by the chorus, in my opinion. Other than that, the rest of the album is quite good, even Jane which is beautiful and usually makes me cry but makes others cry for other reasons... I just think it is definitely an important part of her life that she wanted to be told, and was just delivered in a somewhat clunky fashion.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2015, 06:51 PM
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I very much like many of the songs on SA; my main gripes lie with (a) Stevie's vocals, which in my view are among the worst in her career; and (b) the production, which for the most part is just dismal.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SisterNightroad View Post
Not to mention that at the time everyone talked about her weight.
Yep. She has often said how hard it was to go on that tour and see the looks on people's faces. I can't remember the exact quote but it was something like, "I'd created this image over the years and all of a sudden I was this little fat girl and I would see people's reactions and think, 'Oh I'm so sorry I'm not the Stevie that you used to love'."

Something else she used to say was, "We're all so insecure." Definitely the weight gain played a part as to why she didn't enjoy the Street Angel experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DauphineMarie View Post
I just think it is definitely an important part of her life that she wanted to be told, and was just delivered in a somewhat clunky fashion.
Yes. With some poor production choices, uninspired lyrics (I know some of you are fans of "Inspiration" and "God's Garden" but I for one am SOOO glad they didn't make the cut) and album artwork that makes any photoshop novice look like Rembrandt, it's not hard to see why diehard fans were scratching their heads over this one. There wasn't anything remotely resembling "Edge of 17", "Dreams" or even "Rooms On Fire" from just a few years prior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by louielouie2000 View Post
Street Angel has it's clunkers. Every Stevie album does. I think what sets Street Angel's apart though is just how bad those clunkers are.
I think you really hit the nail on the head with that statement. As bad as I think "Cheaper Than Free", "New Orleans", "I Will Run To You", "Wassa Mattah Baby", and "The Second Time" are (again, just my opinion), I would much rather listen to any of them over the 5 or 6 songs that I consider clunkers on "Street Angel".

Again, I don't think SA is a bad record, just simply different for Stevie and definitely different for both the "Stevie fanatic" and the "casual Stevie fan". Honestly, I didn't even know that the record had even come out when it did. I actually didn't know anything about SA until after "The Dance" came out and I decided to go back and collect my favorite Stevie/Mac albums on CD. I remember listening to it on my headphones, sitting on my dorm room floor and trying to be excited about it but just...not.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2015, 08:04 PM
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Artemis Artemis is offline
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Everything about Street Angel just seems... dull. The album cover is hideous and uninspired, the lyrics are dull, the music is boring, the vocals are quite lifeless... Where are the epic moments? There are peaks and troughs on every Stevie album, but with Street Angel the "peaks" wouldn't even be an album highlight on most of her albums (OSOTM, I'm side-eyeing you here...) and the bad points are... really incredibly bad.

Blue Denim and Greta are the only songs on Street Angel that I enjoy listening to. Listen To The Rain and Kick It are okay, but still wildly bland. It's such a lost opportunity, especially as her vocals on the SA tour are amazeballs.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:08 PM
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Album covers always add to or detract from an album experience to me. Which is sad everything is about downloads now and you really miss out on some wonderful photography or art work. But the SA album cover was so un-Stevie with all that pink, and the matte finish and nothing going on. I saw some outtakes of other shoots around that time which would have really enhanced the look and feel of it.

I loved Greta and a few others when it first came out but it wasn't until Enchanted that I really started listening to the songs from SA. Then I was really surprised to find that there were actually much better mixes on the actual album. Blue Denim had a bunch of different versions and there are a few that are way better than the one on Enchanted. And I've recently fallen in love with the TimeSpace version of Listen To The Rain, which has so much more oomph than the SA version. So if you gather up all the various bits of Street Angel there is a lot of great material there. I think it was just that end of the line way of throwing the pieces she did together to just get it out there that hurt it. I grew to love it a lot more in the following years as I put together the missing pieces.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:11 PM
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The photography for the tour book by David LaChappelle was stunning!
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2015, 12:41 AM
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In her own words from 1:50 - 5:40. Also interesting is a little snippet at the end regarding a conversation she had with Don Was, and a little pep talk he gave her about her reticence to record another album after "Street Angel" (kind of like the Tom Petty conversation she would have a year later) where she says, "I'm real excited for what's to come, because I'm SO NOT excited about what JUST went by."
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