All She Wants To Do Is Have Some Fun, Again ...

Actually, it makes us not so much happy as just a tad irritable.

Globe Sessions features all-new material, but the songs remain the

same -- which is a little strange, considering the fact that the singer has

been

through some major changes during the past five years. Sheryl Crow began her

musical career as a

backup singer for performers such as Michael Jackson, Don Henley and Rod

Stewart. In 1993, she came into her own, releasing the album Tuesday

Night Music Club, which included the radio hit "All I Wanna Do (Is Have

Some Fun)." The video for the single made the most of Crow's

girl-next-door sex appeal, and the infectious song became hugely popular.

She followed up with

a slightly edgier (self-titled) album, which spawned the sassy (and again

popular) "If It Makes You Happy."

The first single from Globe, "My Favorite Mistake," is one of the

better songs on the album. The main riff sounds like something the Eagles

might have played, but it holds the song together and is about as catchy as

you're gonna get with this one. The lyrics expose a perhaps more mature --

if not wildly imaginative -- Crow: "Did you know, could you tell you were

the only one/ That I ever loved?/ Now

everything's so wrong./ Did you see me walking by, did it ever make you cry?"

Other highlights include two songs that I have mixed feelings about. As far

as catchiness goes, they'll do, but I'm not quite so sure about the lyrics.

"There goes the Neighborhood" and "Members Only" are both songs that

address the narrow-mindedness of "small-town middle America" (it might make

more sense for her to criticize corporate America, but whatever,

this is Sheryl Crow, not Noam Chomsky). But even within the context of pop

music, some of these verses come off as more pretentious and self-righteous

than empathetic. In "Members Only," the chorus is: "And all the white folks

shake their asses/ Looking for the two and four/ I'll have mine in martini

glasses/ 'Cause I can't take it anymore." Me neither.

Another noteworthy song is the epic-like "Riverwide," which has an Irish

feel to it, and which features Lisa Germano on violin, as well as a six-piece

string section. Like a cross between Tori Amos and Dolores O'Riordan (lead

singer of the Cranberries), Crow yodels her way through a moody soundscape

of strings and drum loops -- "Once I believed in things unseen/ I was blinded

by the dark./ Out of the multitude to me/ He came and broke my heart."

In the end, Globe is an album for Crow fans, who'll get just what

they expected -- nothing less, nothing more.