Globe Sessions features all-new material, but the songs remain the
same -- which is a little strange, considering the fact that the singer has
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.