Sheryl Crow "Be Myself"

Sheryl Crow is a rare bird, a female rocker, and a star at that. She’s endured during a period that’s cast Rock upon the rocks. Since the early 1990s rock categories, including those for female performers, began to be eliminated by The Grammy Awards. Some years the Academy hasn’t even bothered to offer the category. That hasn’t stopped Springsteen, Petty, Crow, and other aging rockers. Crow did take a detour into country music with 2013’s Feels Like Home, but she’s found her way back to rock and roll – and maybe herself - on Be Myself.

Crow partners with a couple of her long-time collaborators to recapture the gritty glory of her 1990s rock stardom. Tchad Blake produced The Globe Sessions and Jeff Trott who worked with her on many of her biggest hits including “Everyday Is a Winding Road.” With the years the singer has learned how to bring up the right attitude for each song, whether it’s snarling animosity, the pain of a wounded lover, or the determination of a concerned citizen. Crow throws together a potpourri of tempos from the rowdy rockers to acoustic ballads. A touch of country sneaks into the mix, a bit of funk, and lots of grinding guitar.

Crow stays topical including songs that reflect divisions in U.S. society. Instead of taking a hard political stance she’s more content to attempt détente without losing sight of the impact of current events. It’s a perspective that reflects Crow’s role of mother and middle-aged mellowed wisdom. Crow’ voice remains amazing youthful; she sound like a woman twenty years younger than her fifty-five years. It’s a point driven home on “Grow Up,” a track that features a toy piano and the lyrics “I don’t ever want to grow up.” But Sheryl Crow has grown up and her maturity as a musician and person shines through on this totally entertaining and thoughtful release. 

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)

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