tue 22/08/2017

CD: Sheryl Crow - Feels Like Home | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sheryl Crow - Feels Like Home

CD: Sheryl Crow - Feels Like Home

American pop-rocker's ninth album sticks resolutely to the middle of the road

Sheryl takes the Little House on the Praire vs Fleetwood Mac style challenge

What is the point of Sheryl Crow? She’s been around for decades but to what purpose? What makes her art worthwhile? She seems a liberal sort, does good things for decent causes, keeps interesting company, but everything she touches turns to US FM radio easy. She likes the smell of rock’n’roll but never looks to have mired herself in it which, making the kind of music she does, country-tinged blues-rock, rather misses the point. She’s a nice, pretty, all-American cheerleader who’s ended up centre stage via hard work, networking and shopping mall anthems such as “All I Wanna Do” and, God help us, “Every Day is a Winding Road”. She even did a Bond theme! How did that happen?

Feels Like Home is her ninth album, more of the usual for whoever likes this stuff (mostly Americans, Belgians and Canadians by the look of her stats). She can write a decent lyric, specific, storytelling in that wonderful country song way, none of your opaque Coldplay-style flannel. Unfortunately the accompanying musical recipe is a broth of early Seventies Stones, diluted until unrecognisable, then stirred into a characterless goulash of Eagles love songs and Dolly Parton weepies. In fact, if Dolly Parton did the witty “We Oughta Be Drinkin’” there’s little doubt it would be much more fun. It’s a good song. Crow, however, has smoothed and polished it until it passes with oiled, edgeless ease.

“Waterproof Mascara” is another Parton-alike and so preposterously hokey it’s almost likeable, and there are a few others among the wet balladry and filler that, in other hands, would wave a flag and ask listeners to pay attention – the wanna-be rockin’ “Shotgun”, the Nashville-friendly “Crazy Ain’t Original”, the twangy, harmonica-touting and softly indignant “Best of Times”. Crow, however, renders everything a jolly, U-certificate, daytime TV simulacrum of classic rock.

Overleaf: watch the creepily twee video for "Easy", a song that even namechecks the unbearable Jack Johnson

A broth of early Seventies Stones, diluted until unrecognisable, then stirred into a characterless goulash of Eagles love songs and Dolly Parton weepies

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Average: 2 (1 vote)

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