Release Date: Feb 5, 2008
Record label: A&M
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
Conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan — irked by the glittery antiwar messages emblazoned on Sheryl Crow‘s T-shirts during TV appearances — once called her a ”brain-dead peacenik in sequins. ” And that’s before the message-mongering even became a big part of her CDs. In the first half of her sixth studio album, Detours, Crow lays on the cynic-baiting pacifism: She duets with singer Ahmed Al Hirmi, who croons in Arabic on ”Peace Be Upon Us”; on ”Out of Our Heads,” she tells the ”children of Abraham” to ”lay down your fears”; and she laments ”a war all based on lies” in ”God Bless This Mess.
Nothing puts life in perspective like a brush with death, and that truism is brought into blazing relief on Sheryl Crow's sixth album, Detours. Crow survived a battle with breast cancer in February 2006. Around that same time, she separated from fiancé Lance Armstrong and, roughly a year later, she adopted a son. That's a decade's worth of life packed into two years, but these highs and lows -- or Detours as she calls them -- have led Crow to produce her liveliest, weirdest album since 1996's messy masterpiece Sheryl Crow.
After 9/11, it seemed like every North American recording artist scrambled to come out with a political message album. Unfortunately for Sheryl Crow, words that to rhyme with “gasoline” have become painfully redundant in 2008. My advice to Crow: ditch the polemics and stick to emotions. At the very least, keep the music simple.