Sheryl Crow

Detours | A+M
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 5, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars

Detours marks Sheryl Crow’s reunion with producer Bill Bottrell, who helmed her smash 1993 debut, Tuesday Night Music Club — and given Bottrell’s fondness for switching up genres the way most producers change microphones, the album’s title pretty well describes what this eclectic collection represents: a bunch of stylistic detours. Crow’s singing and guitar playing serve as the base of each tune; the singer’s bout with breast cancer, her break-up with cyclist Lance Armstrong, and her dissatisfaction with President Bush’s leadership are the topics du jour, so the material throughout shares a confessional vibe that links Crow to the classic-rock icons she idolizes. But Bottrell gives every track a distinct sonic personality. “Love Is Free” rides a breezy acoustic groove that echoes “Soak Up the Sun.” “Gasoline” shuffles along on a Los Lobos–like Latin-funk beat. “Out of Our Heads” has fluttering mariachi guitars and a “Hey Jude” sing-along chorus. “Diamond Ring” is a spaced-out roots-blues joint. And “Love Is All There Is” marries hazy wah-wah chords to a steady drum-machine thump. Cohesion’s where you find it, but headphone delights are everywhere.


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