Sheryl Crow

Wildflower - AM Records 2005

Tracks: 1. I Know Why / 2. Perfect Lie / 3. Good is Good / 4. Wildflower / 5. Chances Are / 6. Lifetimes / 7. Letter to God / 8. I Don't Wanna Know / 9. Always On Your Side / 10. Where Has All the Love Gone / 11. Live it Up


Sheryl Crow's long awaited 2005 album undoubtedly disappointed some fans of her albums and sound of the 1990's. Her previous album "C'mon C'mon" was showing signs that she has begun a change, away from the raw sound that characterized several tracks on her much acclaimed albums "Sheryl Crow" (96) and "The Globe Sessions" (99). There are only a couple of songs that could be described as rockers and even these have a much softer approach than early Sheryl Crow.

Still most of the 11 songs are really great - to be honest one "Chances Are" is in fact not a new song; the song was originally released with the single "Soak Up the Sun" in 2002. It has been remixed and a new discrete strings arrangement has been added. A great song that fits the general mood of the album perfectly.

The opening track "I Know Why" is also one of the strongest; a catchy melody with Sheryl's acoustic guitar ( like most songs ) in the foreground; and a great guitar solo. "Perfect Lie" has a similar feel and it's almost as strong. The single "Good is Good" is a catchy tune and a natural choice for a single; another highlight.

"Wildflower" is an acoustic love song only featuring acoustic guitar, bass and another discrete strings arrangement; an almost folkish tune. "Lifetimes" one on the most "hard-rocking" tracks on the album, but without the old rawer sound; I can't help wondering how the song would have sounded, if it had been recorded during the "Globe Sessions" - very dfferently, I'm sure. One of my favourites!

"Letter to God" is a tune in the same vein; I imagine this will be a future live-favourite. Great hook! "Live it Up" - is the fastest song on the album, though it can hardly be called a rocker; somehow reminding me of Suzanne Vega. Good track with a fine beat and an optimistic feel; the chorus may appear a little flat, though!

"Always On Your Side" is maybe the strongest track on the album. A hymn-like Elton John inspired ballad with Sheryl at the piano - gorgeous tune!

The closing track (on regular albums) "Where Has All the Love Gone" is another catchy tune; could this be the next single? Another favourite!

An extended features two extra tracks - acoustic versions of "Wildflower" and "Where Has All the Love Gone". Both are the same basic tracks which were used on the final versions, but very nice additions.

Sheryl Crow has made another fine album; just as strong as "C'mon C'mon" and quite different from "The Globe Sessions" and "Sheryl Crow". Great production; some may find it slightly slick, though. The lyrics are highly personal and often thought-provoking; slightly disillusioned at times, yet optimism shines through on most songs.

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