It isn’t that much of a stretch to consider a country album from Sheryl Crow. Her music has always dabbled in the outskirts of the genre way back to her first album Tuesday Night Music Club. Strong Enough is easily as much a country song as most of Taylor Swift‘s singles.
With her eighth album Feels Like Home, Sheryl doesn’t just dabble in the genre – she jumps right in, resulting in an album that is more country-sounding than what many of today’s big country stars release. She sounds right at home on the record, delivering an authentic set of songs, most of which she co-wrote in Nashville.
She uses very obvious themes of country music, even as indicated with the titles of songs like Shotgun, We Oughta Be Drinkin’ and Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely. The themes are so obvious that the album plays like an episode of the television series Nashville, where the songs are often exaggerated country tunes meant to give little doubt that they’re country.
Sheryl leaves little room for doubt that this is her move to country, complete with lyrics and her adopting of the country twang in her singing. Coming from a pop star, they would feel like mockery but from Sheryl, they sound like a tribute.
The first single, Easy, released back in April, was a good transition into the album as it displayed some of Sheryl’s brand of southern rock but hinted at what else was coming. It was welcoming to those who knew her, with its light and breezy sound that would make it fit comfortably next to Summer Day or Soak Up The Sun. The song is now Top 20 on Country radio.
While Easy is relaxing and happy, most of the album consists of sad, country songs. Give It To Me and Waterproof Mascasa are two of the highlights. On the latter, a tribute to her son, Sheryl hits the heart with the line “Thank God they make waterproof mascara/’Cuz it won’t run like his daddy did.”
Feels Like Home may be too country for country radio but deserves to find a home in country music fans. It’s an album that is long overdue from Sheryl and easily her best in a decade. It’s cliché but it’s from the heart.
3. Give It To Me
4. We Oughta Be Drinkin’
5. Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely
6. Waterproof Mascara
7. Crazy Ain’t Original
8. Nobody’s Business
10. Homecoming Queen
11. Best Of Times
12. Stay At Home Mother