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Sheryl Crow & r & & r & Detours & r & & r & 4 STARS & r & & r & After a great debut CD, the oddly affecting Tuesday Night Music Club, I kind of felt like Sheryl Crow was veering into pop stardom -- the bad kind. But now she's dumped Lance Armstrong, found politics and is back together with her Tuesday Night producer Bill Bottrell and the result is Detours. With songs either about the sad state of the world or the sad state of her love life, Detours is very personal -- you feel it, which is a good thing in music.

Style-wise, it's eclectic, with slow, dirge-like ballads ("Diamond Ring") and sing-along hootenannies ("Out of Our Heads"). While there's no obvious, radio-ready single, "Detours" is sure to be a fan favorite. And she has even popped out a song ("Gasoline") that'll have you tapping your feet to a song about the end of our oil addiction. It's that rare political song that isn't embarrassingly earnest. By taking some detours of her own, Crow has righted her ship of music.


DOWNLOAD: "Detours"

The Raveonettes

Lust Lust Lust


Opener "Aly, Walk With Me" sets the stage for the din-inducing, Jesus and Mary Chain-esque wanderlust evident throughout the Danish duo's latest creation of enchanting, noisy noir-pop. The eerie fierceness here introduces listeners to all of the fun to come (as long as one's musical aesthetic tends toward the dark, droning and haunting).

For all of these characteristics, the luxuriant beauty in the twin vocal assault of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo provide a moment, however brief, of meditative calm wherein the listener might relax. Then the loud guitars return, a prime example being "You Want the Candy," a candidate for best love song of the new year, as long as one's conception of love necessitates earplugs.

An understandable criticism might be just how similar all of the songs are in construction and effect. That's fair. Minor-key enthusiasts, however, will be in heaven.


Download: "Hallucinations"
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