Sheryl Crow – Feels Like Home

Meaning, no surprise at all. The accompanying “country debut” declaration here really just acknowledges how far Sheryl Crow has wandered since the salty All I Wanna Do and Leaving Las Vegas on Tuesday Night Music Club 20 years ago. Here, punchy songs like Shotgun and Nobody’s Business riff like her hero Keith Richards paying homage to Tennessee. As ever, she likes to let her hair down – in We Oughta Be Drinkin’ “we’re all plannin’ on gettin’ shit-faced” – while, in Give It To Me and Easy, her voice and writing still have that real look-you-in-the-eye intimacy (“We’ll put on bug spray and lose our clothes… make love sweet love”). A couple of times — Waterproof Mascara and Stay At Home — she gets untypically sentimental as if over-striving to be Nashville. But mostly she’s clever, soulful, sexy, and only a gram of venturesomeness short of her early best.