A/V Room









Sheryl Crow - Wildflower

Review: Jack Foley

SHERYL Crow's sixth studio album, Wildflower, probably rates among the most pensive of her career but remains a thoroughly enjoyable listen to boot.

There is something effortlessly calming about her glistening vocals that bring with them a welcome and knowing sense of familiarity.

Take her most recent single, Good Is Good, for instance, which features some fine Dylan-esque slide guitar before easing into Crow's sultry vocals.

It's classic Crow in style and washes over you with all the polished production values fans have come to expect.

The same high values are embodied in the rest of the long-player, even though, as stated, things tend to be a little more pensive than usual.

Only a handful of tracks recall the breezy abandon of earlier work such as Every Day Is A Winding Road but fans probably won't mind.

Tracks like Chances Are feel far more reflective, especially when enshrined in lyrics such as 'I was lost inside a daydream, swimming through the saline'.

Once again, however, Crow's sweet vocals are augmented by a beguiling guitar riff that hovers over the daydream like a humming bird.

Title track, Wildflower, is another tender ballad, more akin to the soft, whispery style of Katie Melua than Crow's breezier country moments - but it is evidence of an artist who continues to mature, complete with a cinematic strings section.

For this reviewer, however, the highlights come in the form of the livelier tracks, such as the joyously upbeat Lifetimes, with its hammond organ and clap-happy beat.

Lyrically, it's also quite enchanting, featuring a catchy chorus that boasts 'we could live lifetimes in a single day, no matter what you do I love you anyway'.

Likewise, Live It Up which opens in similarly lively fashion and boasts some cheeky, ironic lyrics that give way into a genuinely rousing chorus.

Elsewhere, there is a gentle melancholy surrounding the piano-driven Always on Your Side that is mirrored in the forthcoming single, Where Has All The Love Gone, a musically more upbeat effort that still casts a disenchanted eye over the state of the world as it stands today.

Its wimsical lyrics underline the pensive tone of the album, opening with the telling line 'today, I saw the strangest thing on the evening news, a man who isn't sad at all by what's going on'.

What's more, it comes with a vocally assured, multi-layered chorus and another enchanting string arrangement that serves to emphasise the overall quality of Crow's songwriting.

Another future single, I Know Why, opens the album in similarly impressive fashion, this time incorporating some banjo.

It serves to ensure that the intelligent, provocative and enchanting Wildflower blossoms into one of Crow's finest albums to date.

Track listing:
1. I Know Why
2. Perfect Lie
3. Good is Good
4. Chances Are
5. Wildflower
6. Lifetimes
7. Letter to God
8. Live It Up
9. I Don't Wanna Know
10. Always On Your Side
11. Where Has All the Love Gone

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