Sheryl Crow - The Globe Sessions
I have to say that listening to depressive women whine is not my idea of a good time. Having said that, Sheryl Crow whines some bloody good tracks here. This album has some excellent material on it. It is worthy of a sincere listen and that may involve putting aside some of the ridiculous pre-conceptions people drag up and associate with certain artists.
It might as well be dealt with now, but for some reason Sheryl Crow gets a bad rap. That is both unfair and mystifying. She is not a slave to the mainstream world of commercial pop, nor does she pretend she is something she is not. Of course a lot of her stuff is suited for the singles' market but that does not make it intrinsically bad. She writes tight music, with some good lyrics and sings her stuff from the heart - I feel a lot of her own personality and life experiences went into this album.
What I particularly like is that it has that quintessentially American sound to it, the sort of sound which cannot possibly be re-created by someone who is not from the USA. Now, all too often when I say that, I find it hard to relate to the music, not being an American. But this is different. This is somehow the sort of music I would both expect and enjoy if I were spending a lazy afternoon or evening in some small town bar. Whenever I play the album I remember one such moment: cold beer and a huge chilli dog in a bar in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota. And this wasn't even part of the music being played!
"My Favourite Mistake" was a hit for her and has an incredibly catchy melody and cannot see what anyone could find dislikeable about it. The other tracks on the album are by and large equally worthy of praise. I just love the way "Crash and Burn" rises and falls, a slide guitar looping in and out over a mellow acoustic guitar, and a casual bass and drum line which occasionally burst into energy. It is my favourite track off the album. Other highlights include "Anything But Down", "It Didn't Hurt" and "Members Only". All of them are well written and well played, good pop-rock fayre.
My only criticism of the album is the highly annoying insertion of a hidden track after several minutes of silence following "Crash and Burn". I have never been a great fan of hidden tracks but have been able to tolerate them because they come at the end of an album and they can be generally ignored or fast forwarded to reach them. When one falls in the middle of an album, particularly at the end of the album's stand out track, it really pisses me off. Having said that, the track isn't anywhere near as bad as some hidden tracks are.
It is said a line can be drawn from Liz Phair through Alanis Morrissette and Sheryl Crow to Avril Lavigne. While I can see that, this does not mean they are all in the same vein musically. Sheryl Crow is the most accessible of all these and, though I mentioned my dislike for whining, she comes across as slightly less whiny than either Phair or Morrissette (especially the latter). Still, enough of that, yes this is an album well worth listening to, though I do not think I could take too much of Sheryl Crow before I wanted to yell at her to pull herself together and get on with her life. Still, for the moment, the memories and the experience, this album strikes a chord with me.
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