Monday, September 26, 2005

Quick note

Well who knew? Angry e-mails about never-having-been-here-before-but-I-won't-be-back- after-that-slam-on-Sheryl-Crow-this-morning. Lots of "Do you know you mispelled her name!"

Do I care?

No, I don't care how she spells her name. She's made herself useless. The new album sucks. A friend gave me a copy (advance copy, not bootleg) last week. I took it to DC and passed it off to Kat saying, "This isn't for a review, this is just so you can enjoy how bad she is."

She's really bad. She's doing the power chord jangle she's been so fond of since her second album, the voice still cracks in all the wrong places, and she still can't write a lyric. "Rolling thunder," when it pops up, should make everyone laugh. Her lyrics are on the nose, the first thing that might tumble out of the mouth. There's no thought, there's no attempt to find a metaphor that hasn't been used over and over. Correction, she probably wrote "trouble coming," stopped for ten seconds to twirl her hair and then squealed, "Rolling thunder!"

I'm not saying the crap won't move units. It will. That's part of the problem. Both because there's already enough crap out there and because she'll be selling it on her love life.

"Oh, Sheryl's so happy with that Lance Armstrong!"

She's disappointed a lot of people (her peers, not her fans) with her crap since spring of 2003. I've heard it for two years now. They think she's a coward and sell out, someone who got slammed for having peace on a guitar strap and then went running to dullsville to make sure no one said a mean word against her.

(The great "love affair" has been compared to when Hepburn was dubbed "box office poison" and stayed in the headlines by being seen with Howard Hughes. But let's note that Hepburn emerged with Philadelphia Story. Crow doesn't have art in her. And every song on the album sounds like music you heard . . . twenty to thirty years ago.)

So she plays it safe and, like with her Kid Rock duet, heads over to the dirt road to make sure people know she's "real." She bores interviewers with tales of "washing dishes" and tries so damn hard to act like she's the most generic and boring person.

She's succeeded at it so well that it's who she is now.

That a few mean remarks over a guitar strap would send her running into the hills of mediocrity is appalling. That a woman who made a tiny, small anti-war statement two years ago now thinks she can push her dull love life off on America and feel good about herself is disgraceful.

"Where Has All The Love Gone" (the ", Man" is implied) is her idea of a big statement.

The guitar strap was more of a statement.

She's useless and she's made herself that.

As one friend of her's said when hearing the album months ago, "She's made a CD Jenna Bush can enjoy." Well good for her. Maybe Lance will pass it on over to Bully Boy during a bike ride?

She knows the war is wrong. Now on her first release (don't count the "greatest hits") since 2002, she has nothing to say (nothing even to say badly). It doesn't cut it.

If she'd churned out her usual generic album but had a song on there that reflected something other than "I love my Lance!" I wouldn't have said anything. But if she wants to play with the Bully Boy, she has to take the knocks everyone else gets. She's playing it safe in every way and I don't feel the need to act like she's Bonnie Raitt when she not only isn't, but she's also not even trying to be. Take it to car show or a McDonald's convention. (Yes, that is where she's headed in the next few years.)

Before I went to D.C., I played Wildflower for a number of friends ("Wildflower" not "Wildflowers" because it has a tenth of the talent and feeling that Judy Collins' Wildflowers has) and there was a feeling on the part of some that maybe she was playing it so safe because of her age? There's a double standard for women and Sheryl's going up against it. It's no surprise and she knew it was there. Whatever she'd done on this album would be the last hurrah and she knew it. So why not go out in a blaze of glory instead of trying to sound like really bad Bobbie Gentry? (Because the real point of the album is to prepare the country fans -- which is where she's going to try to move since she's a "woman of a certain age.")

I have no sympathy for her. But for her visiting fans, be sure to check The View tomorrow! She's going to be on! She'll tell you all about Lance! She's been working on her blush so watch for that. (She really just has the look away and smile sheepishly down at present, but she's working on a blush too.)

At a time when people are standing up, Cower Crow and her giggles about cooking and cleaning for "Lance!" isn't just useless, it's pathetic. When the relationship's over (the consensus is two more years) maybe the war will be over, maybe it won't? But she can look back at 2005, she who can't shut up about Dylan's "Masters of War," and know that when she could have said something important, she giggled about Lance. It doesn't cut it.

The e-mail address for this site is