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She continues that progression with the aptly-titled "Detours," sifting through a myriad of topics like her breast cancer battle, broken engagement to Lance Armstrong and adoption of a baby boy. She may have been sidetracked, but she embraces the rhythm of life, an artist true to form.
Crow reunites with Bill Bottrell, producer of her 1993 debut "Tuesday Night Music Club," and the results are compelling and thoroughly listenable. Lo-fi opener "God Bless This Mess" is wall-to-wall Crow, reiterating the song's title line despite hazy post 9/11 life, while the jaunty radio-ready rock of the futuristic blue-collar anthem "Gasoline" and bouncy single "Love Is Free" keep the pace.
She bares her soul on "Make It Go Away (Radiation Song)" and delivers a high-octane rocker in the politically conscious "Shine Over Babylon," but the revelatory title track and cheery, swashbuckling "Out of Our Heads" keep the colors from running too dark.
In spite of life's hardships she finds comfort in "Peace Be Upon Us" and the gorgeous "Love Is All There Is" without a trace of sap left on her fingers, while perfect closer "Lullaby For Wyatt" finds Crow fully aware of the trials of motherhood as she tenderly croons "you're mine...for a time."
Crow is a rare flower of a talent in an entertainment industry full of weeds and flash-in-the-pans, but she is not fragile. Transforming the personal into the universal, she has the rare power to make listeners consider not just themselves but the ambiguous world they live in and keep things entertaining and fresh all the while.
She was great, an artist fully formed, and Tuesday Night Music Club is one of those records that manages to capture magic like lightning in a bottle. As much as I like her, it remains her best record.
The Music Club scattered, Sheryl has gone on to have an impressive run of hits (especially in this day and age, when old fashioned Stones/Clapton/Neil Young, 70s-inspired rock'n'roll has fallen so far from fashion. But here, she reunites with Music Clubber Bill Bottrell, who produced, mixed, and engineered, and shares writing credits on 5 of the songs. But let's not get crazy parsing out who does what; Detours has the loose, easy vibe that TNMC had, the feel of music made without any sweat, just flowing naturally. I don't know if there are any hits here and I don't really care. Start to finish, it is her best, most cohesive, easiest-to-listen-to record since the first one.
One thing worth noting is that it sounds great. I liked her last one, Wild Flowers, but the production was a little off for my ears, a little muddled. This sounds clear and bright.
I'm going to guess that some people will criticize the lyrics on some songs; "Gasoline," for example, gets a little political. But not to worry; just do what I do, and don't pay too much attention to the lyrics. Just feel the music, hear the songs, let it seep in and win you over. This one is just spot on.
I saw Detours for the sale price of $8 and thought the titles of the songs looked interesting. So I bought it. Plus I heard she's been having some major issues in her life lately and I basically had the impression that she'd talk about all that in her new record. She did and I'm glad for that. I'm glad she dove deep! This is a personal political record and those can be tricky. They can either succeed or fail miserably. I believe Sheryl has succeeded with Detours.
It's a mixture of her old self a la Tuesday Night Music Club with a newer self in a way with a more intimate touch.
Highlights of the record for me are: God bless this mess, shine over babylon, Gasoline, make it go away (radiation song), and Diamond ring.
Worth checking out! She's the female Bob Dylan of our times.
This listener is saying thanks. I think Sheryl's working to take a place next to Joan Baez with those strong folksinging fems who don't shut up and do sing:
"God Bless this Mess" was what my Mom used to say about the house. Well, Sheryl took a lot bigger view:
I heard about the day that two skyscrapers came down
Firemen and policemen people came from all around
The smoke covered the city and the body count did rise
The president spoke words of comfort with teardrops in his eyes
The, he led us as a nation into a war all based on lies
"Make it Go Away-The Radiation Song" takes about her experience with breast cancer and the dilemma I wondered about myself when I faced cancer:
Sometimes I wonder
Which hurts the worse
The thought of dying
Or reliving every hurt
No, this CD isn't all pretty, but it's well done and it's straight from Sheryl's heart. Like Baez, she also did a lullabye and the coda to this CD, "Lullabye for Wyatt" is every mother's wish for their child:
How do I keep you from losing your way
Hope you will find love like I did someday
But love is letting go
And this I'll know
Is you were mine
For a time
Well done, Sheryl.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Each song on this album packs an emotional wallop, making Detours Sheryl Crow's strongest collection of songs in her recording career.Published on May 25, 2014 by John A. Purcell
Sheryl Crow could make a living as one of the great poets of our age. For those who reviewed her lyrics as a negative, I don't think they have really listened to them or given them... Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by M
For traditional Sheryl Crow fans, this is a little darker than what she's done, but a good songwriter is a good songwriter and Sheryl's nailed another good one here.Published on November 12, 2013 by soundmandj