As we get older, we start to really overthink things. We become cautious and step gingerly after much contemplation. It seems that the days of our youth where jumping into things with a fearless mentality of riding the moment have faded into something left for the young. I mean we never think we are becoming that person, but it seems to happen quicker than we realize. It’s inevitable… or is it? Can we reclaim that spark? Can we go back in time to where we just have that energy without so much trepidation? Well for one artist, that is exactly what it seems she is doing.
Sheryl Crow has had a very successful career as a singer, songwriter, guitar player, and ultimately a survivor. She also has a new album called Be Myself coming out April 21st. What makes that so special you might ask? Well, for someone who has a plentitude of albums under her belt and a trail of top charting hits, something has changed for this release. This album seems to be a matured revisit to what made Sheryl… well, Sheryl in the first place.
See, the industry and life changes an artist, as you would naturally expect. We play a game that sometimes inadvertently fogs the passion we once stood up for. Now that doesn’t mean that Crow has compromised her ideals for anything; it just means that as we become seasoned, our voice is more stoic than shout. I’m sure we all can relate that family, illness, and time can motivate our exertions to a different place than we once thought we were. Sheryl can relate to all three of those things for sure. What I think has happened with this new release is that this singer has a new, firm grip on the free form creativity that is so well known from her pop sensibilities.
Crow’s last album Feels Like Home caught many fans off guard by the country-esque direction, but I think that was the clear-cut showing that this artist was at a cross roads of sorts. Yes, having strong country roots and a connection to an overtone that she was calling home seemed maybe a next step, but it became way too overproduced and maybe a bit forced.
With early-days production collaborators Jeff Trott and Tchad Blake onboard, Be Myself is a secure return to the sweet spot of that special time. Within the new tracks there is a bounce that brings you back to early hits like “Everyday Is a Winding Road” and “A Change Would Do You Good.” For instance, the song “Halfway There” might be focused on agreeing to disagree (that is so needed in the current landscape), but it brings back that strong-willed optimist that we all loved about Crow. There is seemingly a politically preemptive and rock fueled hit in her tale of secrets; and taking the money and running with the track “Heartbeat Away,” which reminds us this singer can still belt it out with some killer intensity.
One thing that is still a constant with Crow is the wordsmith ability she has to lull you into her music. The gentle but poignant “Love Will Save The Day” reminds us that this songwriter still knows how to captivate the listener in that casually honest way that we all love about her.
Regardless of her past ventures, Be Myself is not an intended step back into familiar ground, but rather a re-centering of her self. This album needed to be done to remind Crow of her interest in the joy of creating music. The real passion is so far away from the industry and commercialism that sometimes artists lose sight of the forest for the trees.
Crow has battled many things in her life; cancer, relationships, industry, and maybe even the thought of herself. Well, once again, she has decided amongst all the static, that she should just focus on being herself. This album is a product of that new-found soul.
Sheryl Crow will be supporting this new album with a slew of new dates, starting tonight in New York, so she can share that reinvigorated energy with her fans. I heartily suggest you go and enjoy it with her.
Be Myself tracklist:
- Alone In The Dark
- Halfway There
- Long Way Back
- Be Myself
- Roller Skate
- Love Will Save the Day
- Strangers Again
- Rest of Me
- Heartbeat Away
- Grow Up
- Woo Woo
April 19 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
April 22 – Tropicana Casino & Resort – Atlantic City, NJ
April 28 – Pepsi Spring Jam – Panama City, FL
April 29 – Dr. Phillips Center – Orlando, FL
April 30 – Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL
May 19 – 02 Shepherds Bush Empire – London, United Kingdom
June 6 – Humphreys Concerts By the Bay – San Diego, CA
June 8 – Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
June 10 – Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA
June 11 – Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA
June 21 – Wolf Trap Filene Center – Vienna, VA
June 23 – Funhouse Fest – Williamsburg, VA
June 24 – North Carolina Museum of Art – Raleigh, NC
June 25 – Chastain Park Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA
June 28 – The Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
June 29 – Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival – Rochester, NY
July 1 – Outlaw Music Festival – New Orleans, LA
July 2 – Outlaw Music Festival – Dallas, TX
July 6 – Outlaw Music Festival – Rogers, AR
July 7 – Ravinia Festival – Chicago, IL
July 8 – Outlaw Music Festival – Detroit, MI
July 9 – Summerfest/Outlaw Music Festival – Milwaukee, WI
July 11 – The Palladium – Carmel, IN
July 12 – Meijer Gardens – Grand Rapids, MI
July 14 – Chautauqua Institution Amphitheatre – Chautauqua, NY
July 16 – Outlaw Music Festival – Syracuse, NY
Sept. 13 – Red Butte Amphitheatre – Salt Lake City, UT
For tickets and up-to-date tour information, visit Sheryl Crow’s site HERE.