It’s been a long wait for fans of Sheryl Crow. Her fourthstudio album, a follow-up to the bluesy-pop “Globe Sessions,” isintensely personal and introspective, even moody. “The Globe Sessions”left fans questioning the future of one of the ?s few feel-goodsinger-songwriters. After critically acclaimed “Tuesday Night MusicClub” shaped and molded the image of a working-class girl who just wanted to”have some fun,” one wonders whether Sheryl felt forced to make”C’mon, C’mon,” an album of happy, carefree tunes.
Music was inan uncertain state when “Music Club” was released. It was only a yearafter Nirvana unleashed its sophomore album, “Nevermind,” and brought anew culture to America’s teens, and only a few years before a group ofaccomplished female musicians put together “Lilith Fair.”
Whilesinger-songwriters were still thriving, Crow broke onto the scene with her ode toa girl’s right to have fun with the radio and MTV pop-rock darling “All IWanna Do.
” For “C’mon, C’mon” Sheryl brings back the same elementsof her spirited tunes for songs such as “Soak Up the Sun.” Herrebel-pop try at social commentary (“We got rock stars in the WhiteHouse”), “Steve McQueen,” is nothing short ofcool.
“Safe & Sound,” though not a showcase for Sheryl’sgritty, girlish voice, is still a haunting and powerful rock-piano ballad.
Unfortunately, the rest of “C’mon, C’mon” is lacking and failsto give us funky, upbeat songs like “Lucky Kid.” Instead, she gives usweaker, lovesick tracks with less-than-stellar lyrics.
This isn’t to saySheryl isn’t trying, but she’s not in her element that embraces her catchy,upbeat style. Songs like “It’s So Easy,” “It’s Only Love” and”Weather Channel” are light, radio-friendly skippable tracks. AndSheryl substitutes plenty of cameos from an A-list of celebrity friends(including Stevie Nicks, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, and even Gwenyth Paltrow)for quality. Not all these guest spots are letdowns; Lenny Kravitz has never usedhis signature pipes better since “American Woman” than on Crow’s ode toconformity “You’re An Original.”
Though the album’s highs arehigh, the lows are very low.
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