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As a massive Sheryl Crow fan it is always a delight when she releases a new album every couple of years. 100 Miles From Memphis is Sheryl's 7th studio album released in 2010 and the follow up to her 2008 hit album 'Detours'. The album consists of 14 tracks and was as decribed by Sheryl has a motown feel due to her 'roots' from a small town which was 100 miles from Memphis, she also wanted to include some of her favourite 'soul' covers on the album.
Track by Track:
'Our Love Is Fading' - The opening track of the album and a very pop-Motown feel. An instantly likeable song, something that you could sing along to despite the negative lyrics. A brilliant way to start of the album and Sheryl living up to her promise of a Motown vibe. 9/10.
''Eye To Eye' - Hmmm, not sure what to make of this. This track was talked about a lot before the album came out so I was very excited to hear it for the first time. Sadly it hasn't lived up to my expectations. It's an ok(ish) laid back stripped blue-sy kind of song but doesn't really go anywhere. The 'na na na na' bits are sadly, the best bits of the song. Also at 5:33 long, it tends to drag on a bit. 4/10.
'Sign Your Name' - A cover of the classic Terence Trent D'Arby song. Sheryl updates it for her version, very similar to the previous track. This was the second single in the UK but missed the Top 75. Not a bad track, keeping very much in line with the theme of the album. 8/10.
'Summer Day' - The lead single from the album. Very poppy and summery. Gives of a great summer day vibe. Definitly the right choice of being the first single from the album. Another song with the 'soul/blues/motown' vibe. 10/10.
'Long Road Home' - Another song that was talked about by Sheryl pre-release. This is another stand out song. Has a very strong Country-American vibe to it. Something you'd expect to hear on a country album. I like this song a lot however I feel that it could be developed a lot more, there does feel like there is something missing from it though to give it that WOW-ness. 8/10.
'Say What You Want' - No, Sheryl hasn't covered Texas. This is a new song. I'm not too keen on this song. Definitly feels like a 'last minute' add on track to keep the numbers up. At least Sheryl is keeping up with the Theme of the album and not going off track. 6/10.
'Peaceful Feeling' - Ba-ba-ba ba ba baaaa, I nice upbeat country song. For some weird reason this song is often played in Wilko's so I don't know whether it was made to be a single but it is definitly single material. It's one of those 'feel-good' songs. Just what the album needs. 8/10.
'Stop' - The first real slow track on the album. I have to admit, Sheryl is really hit and miss with her slower songs for me, and sadly, this song is in the latter department. It's not a song that I ever feel the need to listen to all the time. I can definintly see the appeal of it though if this kind of music is your thing. 6/10.
'Sideways' - Another cover version, this time of the Clarence Greenwood track. Very soulful and bluesy. I have to admit again, that i'm not too keen on this song. I do know that a lot of Sheryl fans love this song though so I guess it's just to my cup of tea. 4/10.
'100 Miles From Memphis' - The title track. I actually love this. I thinkt this is the song that i've been waiting for on this album after Sheryls description of it. It's got that classic 60's motown/soul vibe. I just love every aspect to this song. 10/10.
'Roses And Moonlight' - Another ballad. And this is one of those that I do like! It took me a few listens to learn to like this song but it did get to me in the end. A brilliant song. 9/10.
'I Want You Back' - Yes it's the Jackson 5 cover. If you didn't know, Sheryl was one of Michael Jacksons backing singers on his 'Bad' tour and this is a little tribute to him. I believe she recorded this song in just one take and decided to include it on the album. A lot of people don't like this but I think Sheryl has done a brilliant job with it. A great, feel-good way to finish the album 9/10.
Overall, I have be honest and say that this isn't my favourite Sheryl album's. I do like, as an artist, she can reinvent herself and sound differently on each album. Her last album 'Detours' was very political, 'Wildflower' was arty etc and this is her 'soul/motown' album. I can't deny there is a quality on the album but I feel that some of her previous album's are much better. Definitley check out the 10/10 or 9/10 tracks first though.
100 Miles From Memphis, Sheryl Crow, 2010
Sheryl Crow of course is the retro rock chick best known for hits like 'Every Day Is a Winding Road' and 'A Change Will Do You Good'. Crow has forged ahead in recent years with a very MOR sound that is reminiscent of 70's bands like Fleetwood Mac (who she was lined up at one point to join) and The Eagles.
For her most recent album Crow has totally ditched the pop rock sound of C'Mon C'mon and The Globe Sessions for a much more rounded Memphis styled soul inspired album. A little risky then, but Crow was starting to get into a bit of a creative rut and this could be her way out of that. Coincidentally, Crow wannabe Shelby Lynne made a Dusty Springfield inspired record a couple of years ago - has the queen started to impersonate the princess?
100 Miles From Memphis isn't a great album, but it's pretty good. Having heard most of her albums before this, I can't really say this holds up against 'Tuesday Night Music Club' or her more recent (and decent) album 'Wildflower', but as a collection of up-tempo Motown sounding songs it isn't too bad.
I didn't think the production was up to much either. Crow's voice sounded lost when it really should have been at the forefront of the album's sound. The album was also bereft of any slow numbers which I think Crow does best. My favourite song of hers is 'The Difficult Kind' from The Globe Sessions, but there is none of that kind of song here and thats what really is seriously lacking.
My favourite track on the album was 'Long Road Home' which had an excellent horn riff, the rest of the album was pretty similar to things I have heard before from Crow. Apart from a couple of covers, one good - 'Sign Your Name' (originally by Terrence Trent D'arby) and one not so good - The Jackson Five's 'I Want You Back' the album is pretty lacklustre.
Thats a shame because I was hoping for a bit more balls out rock, but 100 Miles From Memphis isn't that kind of album. Crow's rock tendencies have taken the backburner here - but I'm sure she'll be back some time soon.
1. Our Love Is Fading
2. Eye To Eye
3. Sign Your Name
4. Summer Day
5. Long Road Home
6. Say What You Want
7. Peaceful Feeling
10. 100 Miles From Memphis
11. Roses And Moonlight
12. I Want You Back
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Our Love Is Fading
2 Eye To Eye
3 Sign Your Name
4 Summer Day
5 Long Road Home
6 Say What You Want
7 Peaceful Feeling
10 100 Miles From Memphis
11 Roses And Moonlight
12 I Want You Back