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Sheryl Crow - Detours - A&M

Always consistently good, Sheryl Crow just may have released her best all-around record to date. Detours will remind you a lot of her debut smash Tuesday Night Music Club, and for good reason since Bill Bottrell produced both of them. It sounds terrific, and the songs are all poignant and punchy. It's vintage Sheryl through and through.

There's something about the way Bottrell combines the smart beats with Crow's wonderful, honest voice that just works very well. On songs like "Gasoline" and "Out Of Our Heads", the acoustic guitar plays with the beats rather than against them. The first two singles "Shine Over Babylon" and "Love Is Free" are quintessential, playful, Crow mid-tempo creations. Lyrically, she tackles items personal ("Make It Go Away (Radiation Song)") about her battle with breast cancer, social ("Motivation"), and universal ("Peace Be Upon Us", "Gasoline"). Her skills as a songwriter - always strong - just keep getting better and better.

At the core of everything is a very human human being who just happens to be extremely talented. Sheryl Crow has always kind of risen above the flotsam and jetsam that passes for celebrity these days, and that just makes her even more appealing. Detours is kind of off the beaten track after all, but right on track in all the important ways.

Written by Dan Reed

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