Sheryl Crow secures her title as stellar country artist
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 01:09
Adding to an impressive résumé of seven albums and a career that spans over two decades, Sheryl Crow released her newest album, “Feels Like Home,” on Sept. 10.
This 12-track album is Crow’s first country album, although the singer has dabbled in country throughout her life. Featuring Zac Brown, Vince Gill and Ashley Monroe, Crow manages to create a country album with just enough blues and rock to keep her old listeners interested, while still welcoming new country listeners.
“Sheryl Crow is nothing if not versatile… her eighth LP digs deeper into country tradition than she’s ever gone before. The results are uneven, but never feel forced or faked,” Rolling Stones posted online.
Certain tracks are more noteworthy than others, although each song brings something different to the album.
The single “Easy,” released in March, played on country radio as a summer anthem. Crow struck gold with this song, as the song emulates the laid-back country living most listeners adore.
The true gem of this album is the sixth track, “Waterproof Mascara.” Unlike the majority of the album, this song is not directed to her lover, but rather to her adopted son about his father’s absence. With lyrics such as, “There’s things you shouldn’t see when you’re a kid. Thank God they make waterproof mascara, because it won’t run like his daddy did,” this tearjerker is sure to be a hit.
Crow travels back to her roots in the hard twang rock songs of the album, such as “Nobody’s Business” and the opener, “Shotgun.”
Despite Crow’s most successful venture into country music to date, her lyrics lack the catchy creativity that most country tunes possess.
However, a few of Crow’s songs stand as social commentary, such as “Crazy Ain’t Original” and “Best of Times,” a feat only a few country stars have managed to do, and even fewer have done right. Crow manages to be critical, but not insulting; a lesson Brad Paisley could take after his homophobic “I’m Still a Guy” dropped.
To close the album, Crow contrasts her lively opener with a sweet melodic piece, “Stay at Home Mother.” Strikingly similar to work done by Alison Krauss, Crow again addresses a song to her child. Crow transcends into yet another genre as she emulates folk and bluegrass artists.
As the title suggests, Crow has created an album that truly does feel like home for her and for her listeners. Crow produced an album unlike any of her others, while simultaneously never straying from her roots.
“There are several songs on this album that are actually too country for country,” Crow said to the Chicago Tribune. “Those are the ones I’m most proud of.”