It took Sheryl years to graduate from session singer to star, but boy did she graduate with honors: a string of Grammys and platinum LPs! 16 hits and favorites from all her albums are here: Leaving Las Vegas; All I Wanna Do; Strong Enough; If It Makes You Happy; Soak Up the Sun; Favorite Mistake; Everyday Is a Winding Road; A Change Would Do You Good; Picture (with Kid Rock); two unissued tracks, and more!
Despite the photographic presence of an acoustic guitar (the rock & roll equivalent of a rubber bullet), the enviably lovely hair and the unassuming knitwear, Sheryl Crow is staring back at us from the cover of The Very Best Of
with her chin resting on a fist clenched tightly with white-knuckled defiance. This is, after all, the girl whose wishful thinking led her to sing "All I wanna do is have some fun" while privately preferring to either curl up in bed for a very long time or roll over and die (she's recently come out of the closet with regards to her longstanding battles with depression).
Yes, she's earned herself an armful of Grammys and has been damned with faint praise, but if you go easy on the relatively troublesome second-half of Sheryl Crow's 10-year solo career (the poppy optimism of songs like "C'mon C'mon" and "Soak Up the Sun" seems strained), then this decade-acknowledging resumé serves as a reminder of her narrative talents for summarising the pitfalls of burdensome workloads ("Everyday Is a Winding Road") and problematic squeezes ("My Favourite Mistake") within an MTV-friendly pop framework. Questionably, such gems as the James Bond theme "Tomorrow Never Dies" and the US abortion issue commentary of "Hard to Make a Stand" (both sizeable UK hits) have been omitted to make room for three new tracks, two of which, the evangelical "Light in Your Eyes" and the post-9/11 "Let's Get Free" betray the influences of George Harrison and the Beatles. --Kevin Maidment