CD reviews for Oct. 7 |

CD reviews for Oct. 7

Sheryl Crow

“Wildflower”On sale at All That Jazz for $15.98

I found myself imagining immediately.

Is this song about Lance? I listened for spandex and spinning wheels in all her love songs. It’s an exercise that can keep you entertained through the entire album, because this is one track after another of the sappy stuff.

If it were closer to Christmas, I would suggest you buy this disc for just about everyone on your list. Crow has a genreless way of appealing to just about everyone.

Her themes are universal: love and loneliness.

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She’s not political, and her sound is wrapped in seven thin veils referencing folk, country, roots, rock, classical, world and indie.

This album is a pure, unoffensive singalong. It’s one radio single after another. There’s nothing wrong with it, unless you’re looking for something wild and groundbreaking.

But I don’t have to tell you that.

Rated: It’s nice when the pretty girl singing in the corner of the coffee shop makes it.


“The Antidote”On sale at All That Jazz for $13.98

This is a perfect album to listen to right after the last track runs out on Sheryl Crow’s “Wildflower.”

Morcheeba is Jim Morrison to Crow’s Joni Mitchell. If you put them in the CD changer just like that — one after the other — it’s as if Crow were still on stage. It’s a similar wispy voice, only louder and deeper. The guitars are still there, but they are stronger and bluesier. The love songs are more honest than romantic.

It’s as if the strap of Crow’s dress just slid down her shoulder. Her hair came loose. The light dimmed, and the party started.

As always, Morcheeba brings the modern sound of the London deejay to accompany her on her vocal jazz-singer journey.

This album is a sketchbook of portraits drawn from a distance as she walks down a city street and looks into the windows of homes and pubs. She sees “10 men wrapped into one/the prodigal son” and “everybody loves a loser/so you’ll be fine/you won’t be lonely long.”

Rated: A good stocking stuffer along with a pair of torn fishnet stockings.

Ill Niño

“One Nation Underground”Available at All That Jazz for $16.98

And so the day is not complete without some Latino death metal.

After listening to a couple of women sing about love and loss and a string of bad men, it’s best to cleanse the palette with the sound of a guy shredding his vocal cords into the microphone, screaming “THIS IS WAR.”

There’s no denying this is a strange album, but not for the making-the-neighbors-crazy reasons you might think. Whoever engineered this thing must have gotten bored by the constant, monotone screaming and the driving guitar, because the songs are strangely interrupted with other music — music that seems more like it was sampled from the Wal-Mart sound system than the expression of angry youths. Perhaps to make their album more accessible, Ill Niño moves back and forth between boy band and violent thrashing seizure rock.

It creates a kind of listener schizophrenia. I don’t know whether I should tear off my T-shirt or go for an Orange Julius at the mall food court.

Rated: It’s not Juanes.

— Autumn Phillips