Sheryl Crow - The Globe
Sheryl Crow - The Globe Sessions (A&M) This time, it is personal for Sheryl Crow. All those tales of bums, drinkers, junkies and losers which gave her previous records such a cheery ring are not just detached observations anymore - not that she has gone off the rails herself, mind.
But if an apprenticeship was required before a work of this calibre could be produced, it was an apprenticeship well served, because there is a fistful of gristle in the recipe now Crow is the star of many of her songs.
Crow is still peeling back the grubby edge of the world she found herself in for her first hit All I Wanna Do. And the narratives are stronger because they are closer to home, much of the material dealing with relationships: single My Favorite Mistake, for example, is rumoured to be about former beau Eric Clapton.
Eclipsing most other impressions though is the sense of maturity and confidence as performer, writer and producer.
Notable works include a memorable cover of Bob Dylan's Mississippi, blended seamlessly with such bedfellows as some Tom Petty-influenced guitar, some Page and Plant-inspired heavy orchestration and a snatch of Elastica-style punk-lite.
The girl has come a long way since singing backing vocals for Michael Jackson.