Detours - AM Records 2008
I'm still not quite sure how it will be with "Detours", though I have a strong feeling that the album through more inspired songwriting at least will be able to compare with her debut album and "C'mon C'mon". Musically it is a varied album and lyrically Crow is dealing with personal as well as important political issues.
The quiet acoustic opening song "God Bless This Mess" has a straightforward approach to it, which somehow reminds me of Bruce Springstein. It has become a favourite of mine, and I imagine it could be song well suited for campfire singing.
Quite a shock when the album continues with the heavy single "Shine Over Babylon" - also one of the best tracks in the vein of the "Globe Sessions" material. "Love is Free" and an acoustic sing-along track which I foresee that I'll often skip over in the future. Fine vocal break towards the end, though. "Peace Be Upon Us" is another catchy classic Crow song, featuring a female guest vocalist singing in Arabic - a great track.
"Gasoline" is more cool classic Crow - a song that would fit Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones perfectly - they really ought to cover it. I don't think I would have guessed "Out of Our Heads" was Sheryl Crow had it not been on this album. She sounds very diffently on this track, which is another catchy hippie-type sing-along song. Sounding very British with George Harrison-influenced guitar-lines.
The quiet title track is another favourite. Nice country type song, somehow reminding me of another favourite female songwriter, Suzanne Vega. "Now That You're Gone" is a solid soulful bluesy song. The waltzy "Drunk With the Thought of You" is on of my least favourite songs on the album; musically not very interesting. "Diamond Ring" is better - heavy but very slow - has a nice chorus, though. "Motivation" I guess I would rate alongside "Drunk With the Thought of You" as musically not very interesting.
Fortunately the next songs are much stronger. "Make it Go Away", dealing with the grave subject of cancer is musically quite different from Crow's usual style and she sings the song with great conviction. "Love is All There" is another catchy tune and an obvious choice for a single. Great optimistic Travelling Wilburys arrangement. "Lullaby For Wyatt" is what the title says, a quiet lullaby written for her son Wyatt.
So with at least a handful of new really great Sheryl Crow songs the album should be able to please most of her fans; vocally she is as strong as ever.