Tuesday Night Music Club

Sheryl Crow

1993: A&M CD 0126

  1. Run, Baby, Run
  2. Leaving Las Vegas
  3. Strong Enough
  4. Can’t Cry Anymore
  5. Solidify
  6. The Na-Na Song
  7. No One Said It Would Be Easy
  8. What I Can Do For You
  9. All I Wanna Do
  10. We Do What We Can
  11. I Shall Believe

I bought this because “All I Wanna Do” was a marvelously sharp snapshot of life at that time; I like a few of the other tracks on the album but largely I can leave this one aside, personally. Whether it’s a good or a bad album, whether the controversy over how much of its content is good only because of its heady collaboration and not Crow’s own talents, I can’t say. I know what I like and what I respond to, and some of this definitely makes that cut in my book, for whatever reason.

What grabbed me about “All I Wanna Do” was the irresistable groove, the catchy melody, and the general impression; what sustains the grip is what I found upon further consideration: the lyrics are a solid poem, blindingly evocative and deftly paced, the groove is both uplifting and unsettling, and the picture being painted is unjudgementally tragic. On top of all that Crow’s vocal delivery of the goods is unexpectedly just right—her voice is a touch too high-pitched and thin for what I’d like, usually, but somehow here it’s a balance to the heavy twanginess of the plodding instrumental track.

Beyond that track, the ones that hook me are the sleazy exposé of “What I Can Do For You,” “Solidify” which is just yummy rock, and “The Na-Na Song” which is yet another entry (albeit a very enjoyable one) in the plethora of wordplay-based social-observation songs. But nothing on this album comes near the concision of “All I Wanna Do” and to suggest otherwise would be ridiculous. I don’t know what Crow’s done since this (besides piss off her collaborators), but it’s hard to imagine that she’s eclipsed that moment without me hearing about it.