The New Classic
Sheryl Crow has always been a country singer waiting to happen.
Ever since her 1993 debut, Tuesday Night Music Club, Crow’s radio-friendly pop has always flirted with country & western, and more than two decades on, and having moved to Nashville, this eighth studio album sees her embrace the genre completely.
It works because Crow has always been an everywoman singer with an ear for a melody and a knack for witty lyrical aphorisms – the very stuff of country. Typical is Homesick, a lament about missing a recently departed lover, in which she morosely muses, “I feel homesick for anywhere but home.”
Pedal steel and twanging guitars abound, but Crow’s musical persona remains unchanged. Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely sees her regretting being an easy booty call for a no-good man who drops by when he pleases: We Oughta Be Drinking, with its drawled prediction that “We’re all gonna get shitfaced”, is the Grand Old Opry-friendly cousin of her early breakthrough hit All I Wanna Do.
Country is nothing if not sentimental, and Feels Like Home’s standout track is Waterproof Mascara, in which an abandoned single mother attempts to raise her son alone, wearing the titular waterproof mascara “… because it won’t run like his daddy did.” It may sound corny on paper, but it’s a powerhouse ballad and a tearjerker worthy of Dolly Parton or Tammy Wynette.
Sheryl Crow and Nashville appears a natural fit. It is kind of hard to imagine her leaving again.