Sheryl Crow – Be Myself

Sheryl Crow - Be MyselfUnlike a lot of 90s artists releasing new music in recent years, Sheryl Crow isn’t coming back after a long absence. There’s been no hiatus or other career paths. She’s been regularly recording, releasing albums and performing now for nearly 30 years. Yet, her ninth album Be Myself still feels like a comeback of sorts. Following a full-on country record and a blues/soul album, Be Myself is Sheryl’s return to brand of southern folk-pop/rock that made her famous all those years ago.

She co-produced the album with Jeff Trott, who she worked with on her self-titled 1996 album and The Globe Sessions a few years later. Together, they tune into that sound and it’s heard immediately with the first track. Alone In The Dark is classic Sheryl, Tuesday Night Music Club meets Soak Up The Sun. Sweet sunshine pop with a singalong chorus, even if the lyrics aren’t so cheery.

The album speaks of breakups so while there are lighter moments, like Roller Skate, there are moments that delve into that subject matter. The highlight Strangers Again, for example, puts those former relationships into a new perspective, reverting them back to the strangers they were before they became more. On the sobering Rest Of Me, she reaches a point where after having putting her all into too many failed relationships, she’s decided not to do it again. “You can take up all of my time/But you can’t take the rest of me.”

The album reaches its peak on the semi-political rocker Heartbeat Away, that is admittedly reminiscent of her 2002 single Steve McQueen but it gives the album the kick it needs as Sheryl sings “You bet the president is sweating/or Russia’s blowing up the phone/Deny, deny everything/but still, let’s throw that rabid dog a bone,” over a grungy compressed guitar.

While the last two tracks could be cut, the purposely-immature and unnecessary Grow Up and her statement on butt-fashion Woo Woo, Be Myself is Sheryl’s most cohesive record in nearly two decades. It doesn’t have the bite that might be expected from a ‘return to her origin’ album but after what seems like a lifetime ago, it’s still a welcome back to the Sheryl we didn’t know we missed. Once you give this album a spin, you’ll want to jump back to her Best Of and relive the memories.

1. Alone In The Dark
2. Halfway There
3. Long Way Back
4. Be Myself
5. Roller Skate
6. Love Will Save The Day
7. Strangers Again
8. Best Of Me
9. Heartbeat Away
10. Grow Up
11. Woo Woo

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