The first three random songs that popped up on iTunes had already been featured on the blog: Aimee Mann’s ‘4th of July,’ Art Garfunkel’s live performance of ‘A Heart in New York,’ and The White Stripes’ ‘I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother’s Heart.’
When that happens, I like to go back and read the old posts, both to see if my opinions have changed and to enjoy the comment threads. In that batch, frequent commenter Dana took shots at Garfunkel, occasional commenter Amy took shots at Mann, and Jack White emerged unscathed.
The arc of most artists’ careers is a bell curve — a ramp up to their biggest success and then a gradual (or not so gradual) decline. That’s true even for stars who blew up right out of the gate.
Sheryl Crow’s arc isn’t really an arc at all but a steep downhill slope. Her first album was a smash hit, selling 10 million copies worldwide. Then every one of her next seven albums sold fewer than the last, even as she remained in the pop culture conversation as both a musician and a celebrity.
I’ve listened to Sheryl Crow’s 2008 album once, and that was enough for me to decide I never needed to hear it again.
That’s probably unfair to Ms. Crow, who is a talented songwriter and performer, but I just don’t have the time or desire to dig too deeply into new music that doesn’t grab me right away.
I can’t decide what I think of Sheryl Crow. At one point I really liked her music — particularly the Globe Sessions album, which I find strong start to finish — but later I soured on her.
I sometimes detect something inauthentic and sterile in her music, a safeness and blandness that turns me off. But at other times I buy her as the rootsy rock babe she’s always tried to be.
With a couple high-profile releases (Counting Crows and R.E.M.) on the way over the next two weeks, I thought this would be a good time to catch up with the CDs I’ve purchased so far in 2008. I plan to review all of my music purchases this year.
I don’t feel as qualified to “review” albums as I do films, due to my lack of musical ability, I suppose, and the fact that I’ve never studied it in any formal way. However, it’s a safe bet that I’ve spent more hours of my life listening to music than watching movies, and I definitely know what I like.
Here, then, are my first reviews of 2008. I’ll compile them in one post because this is a catch-up effort. From now on I’ll blog one at a time as I do the movies.