Album Spotlight: Sheryl Crow, ‘Feels Like Home’
Sheryl Crow didn't need to change much to fit in with Nashville's top female vocalists, and on the best songs from her 'Feels Like Home' album, she didn't. An easy (no pun intended), direct delivery serves the "newcomer" well.
Among the familiar, breezy, mid-tempo shuffles like 'Easy' and 'Drinking' are a few go-for-broke ballads. 'Give It to Me' is a soulful love song, while 'Stay at Home Mother' is the emotional, circle-of-life story that's so familiar to country music fans.
String-heavy traditional vocal performances like 'Waterproof Mascara' and uptempo cuts like 'Best of Times' and 'Shotgun' break up the album, but the heart is found in songs like the single and 'Crazy Ain't Original.' The most "country" moment on 'Feels Like Home' is one of two Crow didn't co-write, 'Callin' Me When I'm Lonely.'
Crow debuted 'Feels Like Home' for fans, industry personnel and a few media members before releasing it, and said she came away encouraged by the response she heard for songs like 'Give It to Me.' Many pop and rock stars have attempted to cross that long bridge into country music -- so many that skeptical fans have conditioned themselves to act as border patrol, only welcoming in a select few. It remains to be seen if Crow is the next Darius Rucker or the next Jessica Simpson, but to her advantage, she didn't have far to travel.
Tracks to Remember: 'Shotgun,' 'Give It to Me' and 'Drinking'
Did She Really Just Say That?: "Oh, some nights are made for stayin’ at home / Roll a big fat one and watchin’ 'Nashville' alone / But tonight it sure feels like / We oughta be drinkin’"
This lyric is one of two eyebrow raisers from 'Drinking,' a song written by Crow, Luke Laird and Chris DuBois.
Star Power: Crow's list of co-writers reads like an all-star lineup of the best tunesmiths in Nashville. DuBois, Natalie Hemby, Laird, Kelley Lovelace and Rodney Clawson join known singer-songwriters like Brad Paisley and Chris Stapleton in penning lyrics for these 12 songs.
Did You Know?: 'Best of Times' was inspired by the Newtown, Conn. shooting, as well as talk of the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world. "I found myself asking if our best days are behind us now," Crow says. "Because I have a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old now, I feel like I can’t afford to think that way."