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.
First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, but most especially my own wonderful mother!
And now for today’s randomly selected Song of the Day.
1998’s The Globe Sessions is my favorite Sheryl Crow album. It kicks off with the excellent single ‘My Favorite Mistake,’ features the sublime cowboy funk of ‘There Goes the Neighborhood,’ finds room for a swell Dylan cover in ‘Mississippi’ and delivers one of its finest moments with the ramshackle penultimate track ‘Members Only.’
Not to mention ‘Anything But Down,’ another hit, the slow burn of ‘The Difficult Kind,’ the delicate ‘Riverside’ and the jaunty ‘It Don’t Hurt.’
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.
‘All I Wanna Do’ is the song that launched Sheryl Crow into the public eye, and remains the biggest hit of her career. The track won Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, both well-earned.
I was going to use today’s blog entry to praise Crow’s excellent lyrics, because this song is an explosion of wonderful imagery and flawless characterization. But a little research revealed that the credit for those lyrics belongs to poet Wyn Cooper instead.
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.