It suddenly occurred to me that Sheryl Crow has been around since my college days and that for the most part I heard her in bars when I was far from sober. So a greatest hits collection produces a fairly foggy recollection of circumstance because I was never her number one fan but I could certainly sing along. But apart from that, Crow is a singer/musician who's successfully melded seventies rock, country twangs and pop sensibility while battling critics who've passed her off as just a girl who wouldn't be around very long. And it's not like she didn't give them reason: for awhile she seemed to jump on the "sell your body and your sex" bandwagon of MTV. Now she has the level of musicianship and exudes a certain sexual confidence that solely belongs to the over-40 set in an attractive mix. It's only unfortunate that she hawks stuff in magazine adsthe J.Lo syndrome of cross-marketing.
But back to the music. From the L.A. cool of "All I Wanna Do", to the desert existentialism of "Leaving Las Vegas" and the mediocre but catchy "Everyday Is A Winding Road", all the songs you know are here. "Soak Up The Sun" captures those fun moments of summer driving to the beach while "Steve McQueen" and "Strong Enough" show off her grit. I always thought of Kid Rock as a moron who got a big, big break but his duet with Crow on "Picture" is beautiful (nevertheless, I didn't tune in for his X-mas special). Her cover of Cat Stevens' "The First Cut Is The Deepest" rivals that of Rod Stewart (and here you get an extra country version). Here we are a few years into the new millennium and guess who has the last laugh? The Crowster.