Saturday Deluxe / 20 May 2017

It suits you. Sheryl Crow is herself

Last night saw Sheryl Crow entertain a London crowd at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It was SDE’s third gig in three nights. I might need to slow things down. I’m getting too old for this malarkey…

Crow is in the UK to support her new album Be Myself which I’ve been playing all week in anticipation. I’ll be honest, after one or two listens I thought it was a pleasant, but perhaps a bit lightweight. The music sounded great – like ‘classic’ Crow – but the songs seemed a bit average, albeit the SDE toe was tapping regularly.

However, the record has been getting under my skin and I now think it’s her best album in years. The production is superb; those crunchy guitar sounds, funky bass, great drums. Crow has already said “it was a complete blast and the most effortless thing I’ve ever done” and the music really does shout out “we’re having lots of fun!”

One of the best things about Be Myself is the subject matter of the songs, which any forty or fifty-something parent can relate to. They concern things like people’s obsession/addition to mobile phones (Roller Skate), the overt sexualisation of woman in the media (Woo Woo – which has the wonderful line “every time I check my twitter, somebody’s butt is in my face”) and the time-honoured sentiment of enjoy-life-and-have-fun (Grow Up).

The title track Be Myself made me wonder if Crow has seen that great Noah Baumbach film While We’re Young (highly recommended) in which Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts’ characters (they’re married and middle-aged) get seduced by the apparently groovier lifestyle of a millennial couple. Crow certainly feels like she’s ‘being herself’ on this album and it’s most welcome. I can’t stop playing it right now, which is the ultimate test. If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.

Seek out the Target exclusive in the USA or the Japanese CD of Be Myself for three bonus tracks (the same ones).

Imelda May at the London Palladium

24 hours earlier, Thursday evening required a visit to The Beatles‘ old stomping ground, the London Palladium, where Imelda May stopped off on her UK tour to perform songs from her new T Bone Burnett-produced album Live. Love. Flesh. Blood.

May has left the fast-paced rockabilly sounds of her previous albums behind for a decidedly mature ‘jazz-pop’ sound. This might be dull if the songs weren’t so good and it wasn’t executed with such aplomb.

Should’ve Been You is the infectious single, Call Me the intimate Norah Jones-ish ballad, Human recalls Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders (they even had a song with the same title) and Levitate is the Bond-theme-in-waiting (check out that last chord).

Dressed all in black, with her Christian Louboutin boots (my wife told me), May charmed the audience with witty between-song patter in that thick Dublin accent. She not only played the new album in its entirety, she also performed all three bonus tracks from the deluxe edition, ending with the rocky Game Changer. That’s got to be some kind of record! There’s an idea for a quirky show. Band plays only bonus tracks from deluxe editions of albums…

Imelda May’s UK tour continues tonight. Live. Love. Flesh. Blood. is out now.

Sheryl Crow / Shepherd’s Bush Empire 19th May: setlist

Everyday Is a Winding Road
A Change Would Do You Good
All I Wanna Do
My Favorite Mistake
Be Myself
Long Way Back
Alone In The Dark
Can’t Cry Anymore
The First Cut Is the Deepest
Heartbeat Away
There Goes the Neighborhood
Leaving Las Vegas
Strong Enough
Rest Of Me
Roller Skate
Halfway There
Best of Times
If It Makes You Happy
Soak Up the Sun

Run, Baby, Run
I Shall Believe

Imelda May / London Palladium 18 May : setlist

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Larry Davis

OK first Sheryl Crow…her new album is just great…really catchy and her best since “Detours” at least…as for Imelda may?? Not a fan…yes she LOOKS great but i never dug her much…when she was doing her jazzy rockabilly, she wasn’t as good as US artist Ivy Levan (who was signed to Cherrytree/Interactive and duetted with Sting), and I got her new album as a promo to try it out…not my thing at all…I found it dull and boring…no disrespect tho…she has talent and her fans and she seems a cool gal, but it’s just my taste…as for Chris Cornell, big loss, not my fave artist but always been a fan to some degree since I heard Soundgarden’s “Louder Than Love” at my college radio station in 1988 and was taken by their ironic punk rock take on big classic hard rock bands like Zeppelin…just got the deluxe “Singles” soundtrack…talk about timing with all in unreleased CC tracks on it…but also happy the Citizen Dick track is on there…anyhoo losing Chris was both tragic and odd because he seemed stable and happy and this seemed totally out of character…52?? Same age we lost another great, Roy Orbison…


I respected her until she recently jumped on the “let’s erase Madonna’s history and portray her as a talentless slut” bandwagon.


I’ve given the Imelda May album a quick listen and really like most of it. Very different to the earlier stuff that I wasn’t really into. It seems there was an HMV exclusive deluxe version of the album with six bonus tracks instead of four and a different cover and I’ve tasked myself with tracking one down, as it is now sold out…

Todd R

Glad you enjoyed Mrs. Crow – I have almost everything she’s ever released, and I can honestly say that BE MYSELF is easily top 5 material from her. Seductively simple (for her) yet piercingly forward songs….. If you want cool trivia however – check out the soundtrack to POINT BREAK (very early SC song on there pre- TUESDAY NIGHT MUSIC CLUB) Her 1994 duet with Kenny Loggins “I Would Do Anything”, from his album LEAP OF FAITH. She also sang backup for Vinx on his ROOMS IN MY FATHA’s HOUSE album (as Sheryl Crowe)……


Agree, The Globe Sessions is all killer, Detours also. Think Be Myself needs a hook, which she used to write in spades.

Jon Barlow

That Imelda May song borrows heavily from David Bowies “Sorrow”


Imelda May’s new look is great. She looks like a young Chrissie Hynde.


Just realised it must be almost 20 years since I went to see Ms Crow who was touring her third (and surely finest, right?) album!


C’mon, Paul, you’re never too old to rock and roll – according to Ian Anderson.


Can I just add a mention at the sad and tragic passing of Chris Cornell this week. I’ve listened to his music from Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, and his solo output for almost 30 years. Its hard to imagine a world where I won’t hear anything new from him as he’s been such a constant. I had forgotten that I’d preorderd the Singles reissue back in December last year, and on Friday it dropped through my letterbox while the news was still fresh. Listening to Chris solo tracks on the album was hard work but also very moving. He was a legend of the modern era, and I’ll miss him not being around. Peace brother, and thank you for it all. Say Hello 2 Heaven.

Andrew M

Thanks Tim – I’ve been checking regularly hoping for an SDE tribute article and been slightly disappointed not to see one. I do understand that there isn’t time to produce a tribute to everyone, and that there has to be a personal emotional connection to the artist to really resonate in text. But for me, Chris was such a very tragic loss.

My sympathies to his family.

Robert Picard

Hey Paul

You may wish to know that the HSN version of the new Sheryl Crow album, Be Myself,
has an extra disk with three previously unreleased songs different from the Target or Japanese version.


The bonus tracks are:

“Alone In The Dark” (acoustic version)
“Be Myself” (acoustic version)
“The Rest of Me” (acoustic version)

Bryan Barker

Hi Paul. I can help get you a copy if you’d like.