Monday, February 04, 2008

Crow tries to 'Detour' on album

Detours (A&M Records) may not seem like much of a detour to Sheryl Crow fans. Her politics pour out of these songs the way you might expect them to if you caught wind of a epic cross-country bus trip, in more ways than one.

1. God Bless This Mess 2:09
2. Shine Over Babylon 4:02
3. Love Is Free 3:22
4. Peace Be Upon Us 4:22
5. Gasoline 5:07
6. Out Of Our Heads 4:27
7. Detours 3:29
8. Now That You're Gone 3:51
9. Drunk With The Thought Of You 2:39
10. Diamond Ring 4:10
11. Motivation 3:47
12. Make It Go Away (Radiation Song) 3:23
13. Love Is All There Is 4:01
14. Lullaby For Wyatt 4:08

From the quiet, faraway-sounding opener "God Bless This Mess"--a novel in a song--to the catchy but thought-provoking "Gasoline," it's clear that Crow has more on her mind these days than soaking up the sun or having a little fun, à la the Tuesday Night Music Club era.

Yet there's not a groan-worthy song on this standout rock/pop/folk/blues album. If the themes are heavy (in addition to the political songs, there's an almost painfully tender lullaby for her son Wyatt and one, "Make It Go Away [Radiation Song]," that touches on her breast-cancer experience), the mood is cathartic, determined, hopeful at times and sad at others.

"Now That You're Gone" grabs at clarity through the clouds of a devastating love affair and gets it, and "Peace Be Upon Us" picks apart pettiness and arrives at a wide-minded beauty.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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