Album: Sheryl Crow,100 Miles from Memphis (Polydor)
100 Miles from Memphis heralds a shift in Sheryl Crow's approach, from bland country-tinged singer-songwriter to blue-eyed soul diva, a move she struggles to carry off with any conviction.
It's one thing to get heavy friends like Keith Richards and Justin Timberlake in to add their guitar and backing vocals respectively to the ersatz reggae tune "Eye to Eye", and a passable cover of Terence Trent D'Arby's "Sign Your Name", but soul music is primarily a matter of vocal excavation of emotion, and Sheryl's equipment is far too puny for the job in hand. Tracks like "Our Love Is Fading" and the single "Summer Day" have the requisite Willie Mitchell-esque arrangements nailed down, but the pitch-perfect cover of "I Want You Back" ironically pinpoints the problem: her singing is so thin it sounds like a boy whose voice has yet to break.
DOWNLOAD THIS Our Love Is Fading; Summer Day