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  #1  
Old 05-01-2021, 05:54 PM
mitzo mitzo is offline
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Default TISL 20 year anniversary

Trouble in Shangri La was released May 1 2001. An interesting album with its share of clunkers but real bright spots too. It was a showcase for Stevie's new vocal style which can be polarizing to say the least.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2021, 07:43 PM
UnwindedDreams UnwindedDreams is offline
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It's a very good album. I liked everything she did with taking on the sounds of the late 90s and 2000... i.e. the programming in the title track...the electronic breakdown in FFG before "I didn't ask when you shook your head"

For "Love Changes" I like how it's a freestyle vibe on top of a chord. It's almost like a responsorial psalm in a church.

The song I don't care for, which is due to Shanks, is POTU. I just love her piano version and the FM one with Mick on brushes. Shanks did great with producing the album, but his arrangement of POTU takes the power out of her lyric. It's the one song on the album that should be a rocker but it got the "Ray of Light" treatment and of course Tracy Young saw it worthy of a club version.

Happy anniversary. IYD 10 on Monday.

Last edited by UnwindedDreams; 05-01-2021 at 08:05 PM.. Reason: Remembered correct FFG lyrics
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2021, 10:34 PM
StevieandChris StevieandChris is offline
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My favorites...

Bombay Sapphires
Trouble in Shangri-La
Planets of the Universe
Sorcerer
Fall from Grace
Love Is
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2021, 08:33 AM
On Ice On Ice is offline
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TISL didn't quite live up to its Santana like comeback that Stevie's management were hoping for, but it did contain some real high points. Most notably the high notes missing in action for quite some time made a pleasantly surprising return on Sorcerer and It's Only Love in particular. Very well done and the tone was perfect on those songs. Some great rockers too, I loved the production on Planets and Fall From Grace, both outstanding tracks. Then the writing- the amazing title track writing, among her best and Bombay Sapphires, an engaging song. Some low points- Everyday, I thought it was completely unnecessary to go to an outside writer for a single with the aforementioned rockers in hand. The vocal job on Candlebright- it needed a wistful, It's Only Love type vocal for the best effect, but was a bit too nasal for such a great song from Stevie's catalogue. Too Far From Texas was also not the strongest of songs. Lastly, I believe the album would've had better flow with one producer- Shanks. Overall though, it's a great piece of her discography, but come 2001 and the songs she had, it should've been perfect and needed to be.
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:44 AM
bwboy bwboy is offline
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I remember hearing Every Day and being a little worried I wouldn’t like the album, but then I heard Planets of the Universe and felt relieved. Every Day is such a strange song, I don’t care who wrote it, it just isn’t a strong song, and certainly not a strong first single.

I love:
Planets of the Universe, especially the long version.
Bombay Sapphires
Too Far From Texas
Trouble in Shangri-La
Fall From Grace
Sorcerer

The rest of the songs do little for me. I don’t hate them, but I can’t say I like them, either. I skip them. I kind of wish I could combine The Other Side of the Mirror and Street Angel, and Trouble in Shangri-La and In Your Dreams together. These 4 albums separately leave me somewhat wanting, but taking the best of their songs and combining them would have created masterpieces.
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:39 PM
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Macfan4life Macfan4life is offline
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Gosh, this release date takes me back to right before the world was going to change. Like many, I was going crazy with anticipation for this album to be released. I remember logging into The NicksFix daily hoping for an update. She worked on this album for years. If you recall, her record company did something clever and sold online streaming of the album before its release. Thats how it jumped to #5 on the album charts and was her highest ranked album since The Wild Heart also was at #5.
So I actually bought this album twice, the streaming package and the CD.
This is probably my least favorite Stevie album after RAL. I am in the minority where I love TOSOTM and like Street Angel but this album just disappointed me on so many levels. Lets not forget that this album was sort of created like RAL. It started with one producer then pretty much finished before it was scrapped and Sheryl Crow came in. What do I dislike about the album so much? IMHO so many of the songs are meh blah and sound like the same music track backing with almost the same beat. The percussion is almost faded out on many of the tracks. I think Everyday has to be Stevie's worst single ever. There are about 4 tracks that I do like.
Trouble In Shangri La
Bombay Sapphires
Love Is
Planets of the Universe (dance track only)
I remember when the dance track came out for Planets and going to the hottest clubs in South Beach and dancing to it. I also have it on CD its so good.

Also like RAL, I think some of the best songs were left off. The 2000 version of Thrown Down would have been the best song on the album. Good gosh it has a guitar solo in the song too. As much as it SHOULD have made the album, I am glad it made SYW since Lindsey did make it better.
Most of the album is not interesting to me and the music takes no risks at all. I want to hear the drums cracking. I want to hear the guitars. So while the songs could be quality, I find them incredibly boring. IMHO Street Angel is a better album even though I only love about 50% of that album.
Even in songs that l really love like Trouble In Shangri La, the music could have used some slick drumming and let the music break down and explode again something like a Bella Donna track. So IMHO many of these songs sound like demos where someone who was a good producer could have polished them and made them gems. Any producers she worked with in her career would have done a better job than Sheryl......Lindsey, Jimmy, Rupert, etc. I guess I am saying these songs needed some life. There are some Stevie songs that I hate but I can still listen to them. Many on this album I have no interest in ever hearing again like that made me stronger and so many others.

To sum up this album for me: disappointment would become my middle name.


This is Thrown Down that did not make the album. Laughable this was passed on while others kept. Even though its a good track. OMG it sounds like every other track on the album. B O R I N G. Its almost like Sheryl created karaoke tracks for Stevie to sing to and they all sound way too similiar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nThKXgJHd5o
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Last edited by Macfan4life; 05-02-2021 at 01:47 PM..
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2021, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitzo View Post
Trouble in Shangri La was released May 1 2001. An interesting album with its share of clunkers but real bright spots too. It was a showcase for Stevie's new vocal style which can be polarizing to say the least.
Oh wow. Hard to believe 20 years has gone by. I recall going and buying two copies of the CD (one for me and one for a co-worker)... and I officially joined the Ledge around that time, too!
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:29 PM
On Ice On Ice is offline
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MacFan, wasn't that the "wall of sound" Thrown Down? I really like it and although Lindsey did a nice job on Say You Will, I would've been happy had it appeared on TISL and been the lead single. It's great and would've done at least as well on the charts as Rooms On Fire. This would've made a hard pass and solid NO on Everyday, a terrible song that drags the album down. Also, some Hard Advice was in order around that Made Me Stronger, "Stevie, tear that page out of your journal and let's pretend it didn't happen" and go out and buy that doll

As well, Space Needle had real potential, along with the gorgeous Call on Me for Magic and My Heart being passed on, and Touched by An Angel was pretty as well. In other words, TISL needed a few more pretty songs to smooth out some of the vocal and musical rough edges that are hard to listen to.
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by On Ice View Post
MacFan, wasn't that the "wall of sound" Thrown Down? I really like it and although Lindsey did a nice job on Say You Will, I would've been happy had it appeared on TISL and been the lead single. It's great and would've done at least as well on the charts as Rooms On Fire. This would've made a hard pass and solid NO on Everyday, a terrible song that drags the album down. Also, some Hard Advice was in order around that Made Me Stronger, "Stevie, tear that page out of your journal and let's pretend it didn't happen" and go out and buy that doll

As well, Space Needle had real potential, along with the gorgeous Call on Me for Magic and My Heart being passed on, and Touched by An Angel was pretty as well. In other words, TISL needed a few more pretty songs to smooth out some of the vocal and musical rough edges that are hard to listen to.
I am not a fan of her flat vocals but I tried not to be so harsh. I dont have an issue with her writing, its the music and musical direction that disappointed me so much. Sheryl is talented but I dont know if she was creating a stripped down album to be more musically appealing to the masses?
If you recall, Stevie performed the song Fall From Grace at the Blockbuster Awards. Yes, I said Blockbuster Awards.....makes you feel old and demonstrates how old the album is since Blockbuster has not existed for many years. Anyway, I heard Stevie or Sheryl say they picked this song to perform because they wanted to catch the audience by surprise and really rock. I laughed when I heard that. The song is uptempo but hardly a rocker. But that makes my point about the album. If Fall From Grace is your biggest rocker then its not much of a rock album. The song does not even have a guitar solo (I dont think). Its just sung fast.

If you ever did believe and Crystal are far superior to anything on this album IMHO. I just dont know how to describe it. Are the songs over produced and boring? Or are they too much in demo form and need some polishing.
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Last edited by Macfan4life; 05-05-2021 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:47 PM
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OMG we're old MacFan, I saw the Blockbuster performance, Macy Gray introduced her and Sheryl was on hand for moral support, the performance was pretty good and was meant to wow, Stevie's back! But as you say, it's a fast paced song- and I think it's pretty good but not in the vein of Edge of Seventeen or Long Way to Go. Sheryl in her own right is fine and I've enjoyed her through the years but not the best fit overall for Stevie's sound. Sheryl has gotten more bland over the years and made Stevie's sound bland. I agree If You Ever Did Believe and Crystal were fine redone. At the end of the day the flat singing brought down some of the more promising songs, the title track was killer but still flat and Candlebright's candle was snuffed out due to the harsh vocal. I do like TISL better than most fans, but frustrated that it could've and should've been much better.
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Old 05-06-2021, 12:11 AM
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aleuzzi aleuzzi is offline
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Wow—20 Years. I vividly remember it’s release. I hated the cover art, the photoshopping. But—

TISL has some strong material. “Bombay Sapphires” and “Planets” are the standouts. I also adore “Everyday” because it’s such a simple commercial ditty that she pulls off well. But—

For me, much of the album sounds slick and generic, even “Sorcerer.” Nothing on it matches “Blue Denim.”

And the inclusion of guest stars feels a bit desperate this time out, even though that market strategy has been a feature of Stevie’s solo albums since the start.

Overall, I prefer IN YOUR DREAMS, which is quirkier and more heartfelt.
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Old 05-06-2021, 12:12 AM
bombaysaffires bombaysaffires is offline
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Originally Posted by aleuzzi View Post
Wow—20 Years. I vividly remember it’s release. I hated the cover art, the photoshopping. But—

TISL has some strong material. “Bombay Sapphires” and “Planets” are the standouts. I also adore “Everyday” because it’s such a simple commercial ditty that she pulls off well. But—

For me, much of the album sounds slick and generic, even “Sorcerer.” Nothing on it matches “Blue Denim.”

And the inclusion of guest stars feels a bit desperate this time out, even though that market strategy has been a feature of Stevie’s solo albums since the start.

Overall, I prefer IN YOUR DREAMS, which is quirkier and more heartfelt.
Could not disagree more re IYD. She may have had more fun making that one, but the result is self-indulgent. There are songs on it I like but......Dave is her WORST producer (Sheryl is far, far better) and he never tells her no or edits her bad ideas.

Totally agree re: the guest stars. Sheryl sure, they're pals. Macy Gray? Stevie admitted it was only because they shared management ie cross-promotion. She stated once she had actually wanted Sting to partner with her on that one but she chickened out of asking him.

I like Sheryl's production. And FFG is totally a rocker.

Hate Too Far From Texas, she sounds AWFUL and bleaty. Everyday is another turd. Totally glad Space Needle, Call on Me for Magic and My Heart, Touched by An Angel were left off.

I really like LB's production of Thrown Down, which fits really well into that FM album. The wall of sound version would have fit really well into this album, and could easily have replaced any of the previously mentioned polished turds.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:16 AM
mitzo mitzo is offline
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The album is really a mixed bag, partly due to different producers and partly due to bad song choices.

I think Sheryl was trying to give every song the raw treatment, kind of like Landslide was on The Dance. But combined with Stevie's flat nasal droning vocals, the result was often the dragging down of some good songs.

Dead vocals really hurt Candlebright, Sorcerer, and Planets. Planets is a case in point - it is well produced, like the rest of John Shanks efforts on the album, the song is fascinating because of that and the complicated, shifting melody and odd lyrics. But the vocals are too low and flat.

That being said, the only duds really are Too Far From Texas, That Made Me Stronger, and Everyday.

The best vocals are on It's Only Love and Love Is, which is the standout on the album to me. I wish she had gone to Sarah McLachlan for the whole album.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:23 AM
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aleuzzi aleuzzi is offline
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Originally Posted by bombaysaffires View Post
Could not disagree more re IYD. She may have had more fun making that one, but the result is self-indulgent. There are songs on it I like but......Dave is her WORST producer (Sheryl is far, far better) and he never tells her no or edits her bad ideas.

Totally agree re: the guest stars. Sheryl sure, they're pals. Macy Gray? Stevie admitted it was only because they shared management ie cross-promotion. She stated once she had actually wanted Sting to partner with her on that one but she chickened out of asking him.

I like Sheryl's production. And FFG is totally a rocker.

Hate Too Far From Texas, she sounds AWFUL and bleaty. Everyday is another turd. Totally glad Space Needle, Call on Me for Magic and My Heart, Touched by An Angel were left off.

I really like LB's production of Thrown Down, which fits really well into that FM album. The wall of sound version would have fit really well into this album, and could easily have replaced any of the previously mentioned polished turds.
You’re not alone in disagreeing with me re: IN YOUR DREAMS. But, for me, the five songs that do work on it are among her most charming and warm. TISL just strikes me as slickly professional, without much character. The two duds you mentioned are songs I also think are duds—so we agree on that
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:29 AM
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2021, 09:24 AM
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I agree that In Your Dreams is the better album despite most of the songs clocking out at least a minute or two over long. Her singing is better and overall has a warmer feel which suits her voice and writing style much better than the approach say on Rock a Little and TISL. Also, 24K is a warmer album too despite the missteps in I Don't Care and the Vanessa Carleton tribute.
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