Curious title, this "Detours," as it is anything but. This is a straight highway, a direct route with spot-on political and social commentary, a map to happiness that, for her, now includes an adopted child and no celebrity boyfriends.

Curious title, this “Detours,” as it is anything but. This is a straight highway, a direct route with spot-on political and social commentary, a map to happiness that, for her, now includes an adopted child and no celebrity boyfriends. “Wildflowers,” the dull album that preceded this one, was the musical detour; this is the return to form, the Crow who knows how to craft smart pop melodies indebted to early ’70s singer-songwriters and AM pop from the same era.

There’s a lot of flower-power reconstruction on the album. Crow wants to stare down evil in the world and shout about the ability of love and peace to conquer all. She does it while singing “everybody’s making love cuz love is free” and “if we could only get out of our heads and into our hearts” over hip reinventions of those early ’70s choir-based singles like Melanie’s “Lay Down (Candle in the Rain)” and the New Seekers’ “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” It’s rarely used source material and Crow makes it wholly interesting.

The title track is pure old-school Crow, that charming blend of Midwestern innocence, the gentle encroachment on country territory and a yearning strain in her voice as she sings about looking for life’s answers. Masterpiece here, though, has a slow groove, strings and Crow evoking misery as she sings about both sides of a breakup. The song, “Now That You’re Gone,” finds Crow believing the breakup will leave her to create another emotional mess, but also allow her to breathe freely. It’s a paradox and it’s ambiguous as to which Crow believes the most, a twist that singles her out in the far-too simplistic world of modern songwriting.

Sheryl Crow - 'Detours'

A&M
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0