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Whenever someone asks me what artists I feel are truly, something special, I'll usually have Sheryl Crow come to mind straightaway. And most people I think will say that she's nothing special, and I beg to differ.
No matter what people's taste in music is, I feel everyone appreciates a quality in lyrics. A prolific songwriter, Crow has turned out dozens of songs, from the catchy tunes, to the more heartfelt love songs. One song in particular I listened to a lot, during a bad breakup, and another reviewer mentioned it I believe, which was Come on Come on, a duet with the Corrs. It deviated a bit from the usual acoustic style of Sheryl, adding to her guitar ridden track with the characteristic violins of the Corrs. This song pinpointed her talent, to me. I believe the mark of a truly great singer is melding his/her quality with that of another, to make a masterpiece. This might sound a little stupid, but I felt that song was, truly an example of that. The lyrics, as always, hit home to those who know exactly what she means when she's singing "break my heart again, for old times' sake.."
Of course, I could list any song she's written and say its a masterpiece, take for instance Everyday is a Winding Road. This song got me through 1st year of university. My now flatmate and I were bored, stressed and in need of some fun. Enter the Best of Sheryl Crow. The song comes on, hilarity ensues in us singing the lyrics at a volume too terrible to imagine, at 3am in the morning. I guess the point Im trying to make is that the songs can give the opportunity to chill out, or share slow dances with lovers, or just sing along to at the top of your voice.
Versatile would be the word to describe Sheryl Crow. I feel she could be an example for other artists to follow. I dont see her stomping around acting like an idiot wherever she goes. Those arrogant manufactured idols might want to take a few leaves out of Ms Crow's book, to see what can make a singer really great.
I do fi nd her work a little bland, but she does at least write her own songs and play an instrument, which so few of today's artists do. I hope a lot of them can learn from that, and be proper musicians, and not just puppets!
Thematically, Detours may not seem like much of a detour to Sheryl Crow fans. Her politics ... more
pour out of these songs the way you might expect them to if you caught wind of her epic cross-country bus trip, with the activist Laurie David, to promote environmental awareness months prior to this release. From the quiet, faraway-sounding opener "God Bless This Mess"--a novel in a song--to the catchy but thought-provoking "Gasoline", it's clear that Crow has more on her mind these days than soaking up the sun or having a little fun, à la the Tuesday Night Music Club era. Yet there's not a groan-worthy song on this standout rock/pop/folk/blues album. If the themes are heavy (in addition to the political songs, there's an almost painfully tender lullaby for her son Wyatt and one, "Make It Go Away [Radiation Song]," that touches on her breast-cancer experience), the mood is cathartic, determined, hopeful at times and sad at others. "Now That You're Gone" grabs at clarity through the clouds of a devastating love affair and gets it, and "Peace Be Upon Us" picks apart pettiness and arrives at a wide-minded beauty. George Harrison seems present in some of these songs, especially the more personal ones ("Drunk with the Thought of You," "Love Is All There Is"). And that may be the highest compliment that Sheryl Crow, who seems to admire his gentle soul and shares his big heart, could ask for. --Tammy La Gorce