# Audio CD & Digital Download
# Original Release Date : 10 September 2013 (USA)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Label: Warner Music Nashville
# Old Green Barn / Sea Gayle Records / Warner Bros.
# Duration: 44:02

BASIC TRACKLISTING

1. "Shotgun"
2. "Easy"
3. "Give It to Me"
4. "We Oughta Be Drinkin'"
5. "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely"
6. "Waterproof Mascara"
7. "Crazy Ain't Original"
8. "Nobody's Business"
9. "Homesick"
10. "Homecoming Queen"
11. "Best of Times"
12. "Stay at Home Mother"


REVIEWS

Rating Summary

Uncut (United Kingdom): 7/10
Scunthorpe Telegraph
(United Kingdom): 9/10
The Daily Telegraph
(United Kingdom): 4 stars out of 5
The Irish Times
(Ireland): 3 stars out of 5
So So Gay
(United Kingdom): 4.5 out of 10
The Independent - Review #2
(United Kingdom): 5 stars out of 5
Popmatters.com
: 6 stars out of 10
musicOMH.com
(United Kingdom): 3,5 stars out of 5
The Independent
(United Kingdom): 3 stars out of 5
Metacritic
: 73 out of 100
Daily Mail
(United Kingdom): favorable
Independent.ie
(Ireland): 2 stars out of 5
CountryMusicNews.de
(Germany): 4 stars out of 5
Metro.co.uk
(United Kingdom): 2 stars out of 5
FemaleFirst.co.uk
(United Kingdom): 4 stars out of 5
Country.de
(Germany): very favorable
LemonadeMagazine.net: 4 stars out of 5
TheMaxOnline.net: 4 stars out of 5
Rocktimes.de (Germany): very favorable
Est.hu (Hungaria): 7 stars out of 10
TheMusic.com.au (Australia): 3,5 stars out of 5
Music Collision 2.0: very favorable
Confrontmagazine.com: 4 stars out of 5
Philly.com: 3 stars out of 4
Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand): 2 stars out of 5
Country Music Matters: very favorable
HittingAlltheRightNotes.com: very favorable
Got Country Online: 4.5 stars out of 5
Great American Country: very favourable
Entertainment Weekly: 91 out of 100
Calgary Herald: 2,5 stars out of 5
Examiner.com: 4 stars out of 5
Maestro Blog: 4 stars out of 5
Graemeoneil.com: B+
Gaffa (Denmark): 4 stars out of 6
Digital Journal: 4.5 stars out of 5
Renowed for Sound: 4 stars out of 5
Dailycampus.com: 9 out of 10
Country Standard Time: favorable
Soundandvisionmag.com: favorable
Milwuakee Journal Sentinel: mixed
Shewired.com: favorable
MIMO - Music is My Oxygen: 4 stars out of 5
New York Daily News: favorable
The Oakland Press: 3 stars out of 4
Chicago Sun-Times: favorable
Montreal Gazette: mixed
Billboard magazine: 92 out of 100
Exclaim.ca: 7 out of 10
Allmusic.com: 3 stars ouf of 5
The Beat Magazine Online: 3.6 stars out of 5
MusicNewsNashville.com:
very favorable
Roughstock.com: 4 stars out of 5
American Songwriter: 3 1/2 stars out of 5
Rolling Stone: 3 1/2 stars out of 4


Uncut
By Nigel Williamson

Eight studio album from the well-travelled singer-songwriter. Billed as Crow's "debut country album", the reality is more complex. First, there's always been a strong Americana/roots flavour to her pop-rock populism. Secondly, although a couple of tracks sound like a blatant pitch for the Taylor Swift Market, Feels Like Home is a rich, varied record that harks back to her spectacular debut 20 years ago with Tuesday Night Music Club. "We Oughta Be Drinkin" is a witty sequel to her career-defining "All I Wanna Do", and she's found something to say again, too, on a set of story-telling songs full of zeitgeist references to Wall Street bankers, single mothers and reality TV. A substantial return to form. (March 2014)

Rating: 7/10


Scunthorpe Telegraph
By Nick Cole

“FEELS LIKE HOME” - SHERYL CROW (Warner Music) - Plenty of good-time music from the hugely-talented Missouri singer-pianist who co-wrote and co-produced this 12-track collection. Songs like We Oughta Be Drinkin’. Homesick and Easy are well-crafted, laid back and often introspective.

Rating: 9/10


The Daily Telegraph
By Helen Brown

Sheryl Crow gives free reign to her country music inclinations on her new album. The result? Feels Like Home is Crow's best record in years, says Helen Brown

It may surprise British fans to learn that Sheryl Crow’s ninth album has been billed in America as her “country music debut”. Non-purists will have heard a strong twang of country in almost everything she’s recorded to date. It was certainly there in the dusty pedal-steel and barroom lyrics of her 1993 breakthrough hit.

All I Wanna Do may have been set in a bar in Los Angeles, but you could tell that the singer rocked cowboy boots.

Crow studied classical piano at university and sung backing vocals for Michael Jackson before she was filed under “pop-rock” for a career that’s earned her nine Grammy Awards, but she’s always been a country girl at heart. On Feels Like Home, she gives free rein to those inclinations that were there from the beginning, and the result is her best record in years.

The album screeches out of the parking lot (and practically yells “Yee-haw!”) with the attitude-boosting Shotgun, whose chorus “Drive it like it’s stolen/ Park it like it’s rented” was a favourite saying of Crow’s piano teacher dad.

Crow was raised south of the Mason-Dixon Line in a small town called Kennett (right on the Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee border) which she’s described as: “Very old-fashioned, right in the Bible Belt, mostly farmers, predominantly farm land, cotton, soybeans. God-fearing people, and it’s remained pretty much intact, with the exception of Wal-Mart coming in and the downtown kind of falling apart.”

When she turned on the radio, she heard Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn. You can hear that she’s a sucker for songs that tip their hats to the tried-and-trusted combination of small-town narratives and gutsy choruses that you imagine being hollered from the windows of rusty pickups.

Country music is driven by convention. So the FM production, melodic predictabilities and fondness for cornball lyrics – qualities that often made her rockier music feel middle of the road – actually makes her modern “country” sound classic.

Highlights include Drinkin’ (on which she hits the town on a Wednesday night instead of staying home and watching Nashville) and the sweet harmonies of break-up ballad Homesick.

But she’s at her best channelling the mature, suburban melodrama of vintage Tammy Wynette on Stay at Home Mother and the all-out D.I.V.O.R.C.E.-style heartwrench of Waterproof Mascara, on which a little boy’s mother thanks God for a cosmetic that “won’t run like his daddy did”.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


The Irish Times
By Joe Breen

Covers carry clues. On the front, Sheryl Crow is a model of the Southern Belle, a comely smile draped in a figure-hugging lace dress set against a rural background. Turn to back and she is rock-chick incarnate, ripped jeans, sullen body shape cradling a guitar case.Both images are apt – on Feels Like Home she embraces country but doesn’t quite leave her rockist ways behind. Now 51, Crow is shrewdly moving the emphasis from the country soul of her 2010 100 Miles from Memphis to more Nashville-compliant sounds and attitudes. Though she’s a class act, with an instinctive feel for strong pop hooks and telling detail, the songs feel somewhat contrived. That said, Crow’s voice is impressive on ballad and rocker alike, as on Give It to Me and the opener, Shotgun.

Download: Best of Times, Shotgun

Rating: 3 stars out of 5


SoSoGay.co.uk
By John Paul Lucas

Although a minority concern here in the UK, commercial country remains hugely popular in America, with a sizeable fanbase who still buy CDs in significant numbers. So it's unsurprising that so many notable figures - from Jewel and Jessica Simpson, to Bon Jovi and Lionel Richie - have sought refuge in the genre as their mainstream fortunes started to wane. Sheryl Crow's introduction to the genre could be considered equally cynical, but in truth the leading 90s rock chick was always more Patsy Cline than Patti Smith. The only real surprise is that it took her so long to get around to it.

In her heyday, Crow's best assets were her distinct bluesy drawl and her wry, highly personal lyrics. Both attributes could serve her well on a stripped-back country album, so the first disappointment of Feels Like Home is how produced it feels. Opening track 'Shotgun' has a self-assured swagger, but it sounds like a Faith Hill song. This is country music at its most commercial and middle of the road, which is no sin in itself, but it leaves Crow with little room to put a personal stamp on proceedings.

Even more disappointing are the lyrics. Crow's usual arsenal of woozy pop culture references and tongue-in-cheek social commentary are replaced by bland platitudes and lame rhyming dictionary clichés. Song titles like 'We Oughta Be Drinkin' and 'Waterproof Mascara' sound like parodies, but Crow plays them completely straight. Her shrill delivery of the maudlin latter song marks the decisive low point of this record.

That said, there are some definite highlights; 'Crazy Ain't Original No More' allows Crow's sense of humour to shine through as she takes world-weary pot shots at Botoxed pensioners and drug-addled reality TV stars. Hidden away in the final third of the album, 'Homesick' is a classic Crow ballad that could have easily been taken from either of her back-to-back nineties masterpieces Sheryl Crow and The Globe Sessions. Unfortunately, this quietly lovely number is followed by the dreadful 'Homecoming Queen', one of the most condescending lyrics the usually-sharp Crow has ever written.

On the whole, for a first foray into country music, the album is far from an embarrassment, but it can't help but feel like a missed opportunity. With younger artists like Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe stretching the boundaries of the genre with razor-sharp lyrics and a liberated world view that could well have been influenced by Crow's early work, she could have made a great alternative country record without adjusting her sound too dramatically. Instead, Feels Like Home is the sound of a usually reliable artist treading water.

Standout tracks: 'Homesick' / 'Crazy Ain't Original No More'

Rating: 4,5 out of 10


The Independent - Review #2
By Nick Coleman

Shazza has moved operations, lock, stock and double-barrel, to Nashville. There she is, on the cover in a white lace dress, the very image of a buff, energized, super-fit Loretta for the 21st century in waterfall sleeves, with yellow flowers queuing up to serve as maids of honour. What can possibly await within?

Guitars, mainly. Guitars and drums and the tropes of honky-tonk songwriting admitted to the service of an old-skool rockin’ sensibility, both single-coiled and humbucking; country music as envisioned on side two of Exile on Main St or, perhaps more germanely, by Allison Moorer on her brace of early-Noughties R&B-inflected classics: gritty, soulful, clever and governed, muscularly, by the inclinations of the body.

Yet it is also pop music. There is a sheen to the production which echoes the sheen of Sheryl’s skin and the polish of her co-writing (you will never hear a better song about waterproof mascara). There is also a desire to make the tunes not only go the distance but stick like a burr after the distance has been covered, an effect enhanced by Crow’s fiercely generous phrasing. It’s not a great voice but, by George Jones, even when she’s operating at the low end of her dynamic range, she gives you the lot. And she swings.

You will want to hear one of the great kick-back songs of the age, “We Oughta Be Drinkin’”, the aforementioned “Waterproof Mascara” (unlike his daddy, it won’t run) and the heartbreaking “You’re Asking the Wrong Person”.

Feels Like Home is musically conservative, socially ingratiating, politically vulnerable. It is unmistakably a piece of product. But it is also brilliant.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Popmatters.com
By Enio

Well, it happened. Sheryl Crow finally (and fully) embraced the nu-country direction that she was nose-diving towards since 2005’s Wallflower. It’s a somewhat brave choice, but one that’s befitting her seemingly natural progression as an artist. You could have hoped for a more edgy approach to a characteristically uninteresting style, but Sheryl abandoned edgy since she started singing about soaking up the sun and all that bullshit. Feels Like Home begins with the country trope “Shotgun” – the kind of song where country artists take a one-sentence simile and stretch it out over the course of an entire song. It isn’t until track two where the thesis of this country direction comes into full effect. “Easy” perfectly encapsulates this genre-shift that you could have seen a mile away. That isn’t to say that all country is easy, but rather, Crow makes it look pretty easy. Every song sways with grace and ease and each track sounds like a beefed up Dolly Parton song. Most notable on this fairly fair effort is how Crow has opted against trending towards cross-over hits like Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood, but instead made conscious efforts to nuance her obvious country influences like Parton, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn. Beyond that, the album is just so freaking catchy, it’s ridiculous.

The nexus of this catchiness comes with “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely”. It’s a typical country song, and on it she sings: “Why is he always gotta be calling me when I’m lonely? / It’s so wrong to be leading me on and I can’t say no / He swears that it’s gonna be different this time but it won’t be / Why is he always gotta be calling me when I’m lonely?” It’s so freakin’ catchy and rings out with a home-hitting familiarity that you can’t help but think: “Why does he always gotta be callin’ me when I’m lonely? The jerk.” That’s what Sheryl Crow is going for with this new record – relatability, sung in a twangy manner with lyrics that are meant more to make you smile than tug at your heart strings.

Not surprisingly, her sometimes corny lyrics are much better suited to this new direction than they ever were in her alt-folk-rock-pop thing she was going for. On “Crazy Ain’t Original” she sings: “Checking in and out and in and out of rehab / It ain’t quite the shame it used to be / Well you’re dressed to be the star ‘cause one bad / Mug shot makes you much more interesting / Crazy ain’t original these days / The world was going half-crazy anyway / Anything you can think of, it’s all been done before / Crazy ain’t original no more.” An audible jeer can be heard amongst the hipster crowd, I’m sure. Read aloud, or even sung to music that seems like it should take itself much more seriously than it does, these lyrics would surely turn off even the most casual of listeners. But punch it up with a spicy country outfit and it doesn’t sound half bad – a true testament to what can be pulled off if the genre is done right.

That’s not to say that everything Crow puts on in this record is fun, no matter how hard she tries. On “Waterproof Mascara” she sings: “So he wants to know does Superman really need to wear his cape to fly? / Where does rain come from? / And can I play outside? / All my friends have daddys, momma why don’t I? / And so I wear waterproof mascara / There’s things you shouldn’t see when you’re a kid / Thank God they make waterproof mascara / ‘Cuz it won’t run like his daddy did.” That’s right, you read that last line correctly: “Thank God they make waterproof mascara, ‘cause it won’t run like his daddy did.” Yeah, just sit with that for awhile. It’s hilarious! And completely unintentional.

This is the biggest problem for Crow and her toe-tappin’, cowboy rappin’ departure. She tackles every song with a particular gimmick – one glance at the tracklisting and you know exactly what she’s going to sing with each song. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but ultimately you wish that she would have taken this opportunity to flip the genre on its head instead of pander to it. She doesn’t, but, well, Crow stopped being that kind of artist after the release of her self-titled sophomore CD, so it’s not totally unsurprising.

The album closer “Stay at Home Mother” is actually a perfect blend of all that is right and wrong with this record, and manages to elevate itself beyond some of the tired tropes she falls back on in such a way that it’s kind of clever and somewhat touching. It’s a very simple track with a very simple story, but expressed astutely and eloquently. And while a lot of Feels Like Home misses the mark in this capacity, enough of it rings with the ole’ Sheryl Crow charm to make it a worthy entry into her repertoire and a notable foray into Country-pop music territory.

Rating: 6 stars out of 10


musicOMH.com
By David Welsh

Though it’s easy to file Sheryl Crow in the moth-eaten corner of your mind where hazy memories of 1990s chart botherers reside, it turns out that the multi-faceted Missourian has coaxed her solo success to relatively consistent levels for more than 20 years. Eight LPs, all of which were Billboard Top 10 hits; a mantelpiece full of industry awards; a clutch of well-received acting roles. Who knew?

All the same, her exploits since the runaway success of 1998 album The Globe Sessions have never quite jived internationally, 2002 single Soak Up The Sun notwithstanding. The timing, then, is both awfully perfect and perfectly awful for Crow to release her first country album (“So what were the other eight?” you ask); a move that would seem to suggest consolidation in the US at the likely expense of sales overseas. It’s also her first album since an 18-year relationship with previous label Interscope hit the skids, making this a case of new imprint, slightly new direction.

The shift to country, of course, makes perfect sense for an artist whose particular stripe of pop has always veered towards Americana. Indeed, with previous collaborations with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam and the Dixie Chicks, it’s perhaps not surprising that Sheryl describes it as “coming home”. Wrangling the metaphor to its knees like a cowboy at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (where Crow once performed to the outrage of animal rights activists), her ninth album gained its title – Feels Like Home.

It initially appears that subtlety is not to be one of the album’s strengths, but one suspects that’s probably intentional; country music, after all, is known for its tendency to take on bold subjects in plain terms. So is the case with album opener Shotgun, whose jaunty, lighthearted, stop-start riff leads into full-throated auto similes: “Drive it like it’s stolen / Park it like it’s rented / What good is your money / If you ain’t gonna spend it?” With that, the expectation is set: this is to be an LP all about the good times.

Except that it isn’t. Lead single Easy – already a bona fide hit – opens like Tom Petty mega-smash Free Falling, Crow singing from the comfort zone about the comfort zone. “We’ll play Jack Johnson / He’s the new Don Ho,” she exclaims in absolute earnestness. Yet the theme is reversed in later track Homecoming Queen, which laments lost youth, abandoned ambitions and a hypothetical marriage that is neither good nor bad. In the space of an album, we discover the difference between contented coupon cutting and chronic coupon cutting.

It’s a strong testament to Feels Like Home’s sheer quality that such balance is present throughout. For every Give It To Me and We Oughta Be Drinkin’ (the former a dusty, down-home jive; the latter a sozzled revival of All I Wanna Do’s yearning for fun) there’s a number like Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely, whose soaring chorus aims squarely at the airwaves and lands in slap-bang Shania Twain territory. In other words, it’s a success – though actually one of only two songs not written or at least co-written by Sheryl herself.

Waterproof Mascara is probably the album’s lyrical zenith. Written from the point-of-view of a single mother – an experience to which Crow can relate – it runs the gamut from loneliness to anxious maternal love. When the chorus craves for the title’s resilient make-up “because it won’t run like his daddy did”, one can’t help but bring to mind the adroit lyricism of a Tammy Wynette or Dolly Parton. A mite heavy-handed, yes, but smart nonetheless.

The album’s equilibrium continues into its coda. Crazy Ain’t Original and Best Of Times combine southern stylings with political themes just noticeable enough to keep the brain ticking over and the toes tapping, before Homesick flips the album’s general premise on its head: the song’s protagonist longs for home only to find it empty. Like the preceding tracks, it’s classy, adroitly produced and a clever component of an altogether admirable whole.

Rating: 3,5 stars out of 5


The Independent
By Andy Gill

Feels Like Home finds Sheryl Crow safely ensconced in Nashville, reverting to default country-rock mode. It’s a snug fit, though hardly tests her limits. But she has a facility with genre conventions in cheery let’s-live numbers such as “We Oughta Be Drinkin’” and the twangsome opener “Shotgun”, an open-road anthem in which she encourages us to “drive it like it’s stolen”; and even the standard dig at contemporary social cliches, “Crazy Ain’t Original”, brings a fresh spin to tired attitudes. The weepiest ballad, “Waterproof Mascara”, likewise seeks a new slant on an old routine, Sheryl recommending the cosmetic in question because “it won’t run like his daddy did”. Musically it’s standard rockin’ country fare, save for the poignant tints of accordion applied to “Homecoming Queen”.

***

Download: Shotgun; Waterproof Mascara; Homecoming Queen

Rating: 3 stars out of 5


Metacritic

http://www.metacritic.com/music/feels-like-home/sheryl-crow


Daily Mail
By Adrian Thrills

Feels Like Home kicks off with polished modern country-pop. Opening track Shotgun and current single Easy nod towards Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves, a rising country belle who’s supporting Katy Perry on tour.

But Crow is a seasoned rocker who can hold her own against the boys, and her grittier leanings come to the fore on We Oughta Be Drinkin’, a rowdy homage to a night on the hooch, and Nobody’s Business, a good-time blues-rocker that chugs along in the fashion of Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop.

There are plenty of vintage influences at play, too: Sheryl namechecks Willie Nelson’s signature tune Whiskey River on We Oughta Be Drinkin’ and harks back to the old-time country balladeers on Crazy Ain’t Original, a wry comment on today’s slipping social standards that takes a pop at everything from celebrities in rehab to bankers running amok on Wall Street.

With gripping detail, Crow reprises the frank, no-nonsense approach of bruised country sweethearts such as Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette as she bares her own domestic scars.

On Waterproof Mascara, she sings with conviction of awkward questions asked by children of single mums: ‘All my friends have daddies, Mommy, why don’t I?’ And if one tear-jerker weren’t enough, the bittersweet country-rockers Stay At Home Mother and Homesick detail Sheryl’s mixed feelings about life on tour.

She might lack the lung power of a traditional Southern diva, but she indulges in plenty of soul-searching without overdoing the vocal histrionics. The results, some impressive songs fleshed out by steel guitars, mandolin and fiddle, reiterate her standing as a singer of style and substance.

Rating: favorable


Independent.de
By John Meagher

Sheryl loses touch with Home

Sheryl Crow sold several gazillion albums on the back of sweet, inoffensive country-inflected pop. This album, we're told, is her first proper country offering having been inspired by the fact that she now calls Nashville home.

In truth, it's no great departure from the sort of music Crow has proffered to date – think radio-friendly hooks, that (largely) character-free vocal of hers, a sumptuous production... the list goes on.

In places, Crow makes the listener sit up and take notice. The compelling Waterproof Mascara offers the world view of a put-upon single mum concerned about her son's need for a father figure while Stay At Home Mother finds the protagonist fretting about the daughter she rarely gets to see due to a demanding job.

But, too often, Crow's songs lack spark and invention. Best of Times never strays from tedious, middle-of-the-road territory while Crazy Ain't Original manages to be offensively dull – really, Sheryl, you thought such half-baked efforts were worth releasing?

Feels Like Home is likely to disappoint existing fans and will do nothing whatsoever to woo those who have hitherto given the singer a wide berth.

Key Tracks: Waterproof Mascara

Rating: 2 stars out of 5


CountryMusicNews.de
By Gunther Matejka

Note: this review was translated from german with Google translate, so it's not totally accurate.

"Feels Like Home" is the name Sheryl Crow her new album. Never randomly. Because after a few years rock'n'roll life in the world, the blonde singer has settled back into her old home Nashville some time ago. Music City USA is not only an attractive music metropolis - there can be compared to other American cities, still live relatively quiet and peaceful. One aspect that may have played a role in the attractive mother.

On the cover is Sheryl Crow, photogenic as always to admire in a worthy lace dress in the green field. The other graphical presentation promises: Country. After the singer, who was once with Michael Jackson on tour and made common cause with Don Henley, also now at Warner Bros. Nashville is under contract, one may hope to a country trend.

Well, it solves the promise already a somehow. Although Crow course does not offer a flawless, tradition-conscious country. Rock, blues and folk are indispensable companions for them - and that's not bad at all.

Even with the opener "Shotgun" - a co-production of four aces songwriter, including Crow and John Shanks - turns the petite Lady powerful: a countryfizierter blues-rock with a rousing guitar riff, wuchtigem beat, catchy chorus - but also including mandolin and dobro.

After the fiery intro Sheryl Crow turns equal times back a few gears. "Easy" keeps quiet but hearty country-folk ready; invested in the slow three-quarter clock "Give It To Me" is waiting with ballad-like shades and an opulent Violin Arrangement. An arrangement by the way, to the ballad of Martina McBride recalls. And vocally, there are some parallels with the cute Martina - especially if Sheryl Crow occasionally their head voice begins with taste and skill.

So clearly album no information about where the real strength of the singer is: the shirt-sleeved, rocking, bluesy subject? Or maybe in the quiet, thoughtful and folk-oriented sound. More or less come both poles of equal rights in the course of twelve titles to advantage. Either way - it convinces. And with it, the crew of studio musicians. Among them are drummer Greg Morrow, bassist Glenn Worf, Paul Franklin on steel guitar and a whole range of guitarists. Also present: mega-star Brad Paisley . In "We Oughta Be Drinkin '" (a casual reference to Crows first hit "All I Wanna Do") Paisley controls virtuosic as always with some nice slide guitar melodies.

When a bit too thickly applied ballad "Waterproof Mascara" Paisley was also active as a co-author. How popular Sheryl Crow in Nashville is can probably also in the list of her singing partners: Zac Brown whispers the quiet folk of "Homesick" says empathetic than ever before, Vince Gill is the aforementioned "Give It to Me" of the party and Ashley Monroe with her is the reminiscent of the good old Rolling Stones "Crazy Is not Original" to the side.

The Stones can also present in strammsten tracks on the CD greet: "Nobody's Business," a bone-dry blues-rock. Even more than the Stones but were probably for Bad Company godfather. Well, brothers are indeed in the spirit ...

Conclusion: "Feels Like Home" Shery Crow presents a very solid mix of country-pop ballads and brisk country-rock-blues tracks. Not innovative, but entertaining - and perfectly staged.

Full review (in german) @ http://www.countrymusicnews.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7204:crow-sheryl-feels-like-home&catid=29:cd-besprechungen&Itemid=125

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Metro.co.uk
By Gunther Matejka

Sheryl Crow’s sparkly pop spritzers have always come laced with a swig of country & western moonshine – she lived in Nashville for a while and worked with the likes of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash – but this is her first official ‘country’ album.

Sadly it’s the achy-breaky AOR that you associate with contemporary Nashville: mid-tempo, major-key anthems with crunchy guitars and drearily adult preoccupations such as divorce, adultery and childcare.

Easy is a hymn to austerity-era staycations while Homecoming Queen is a Springsteen-ish ballad about unfulfilled teenage dreams.

There’s only one stab at ‘proper’ country: Waterproof Mascara, all Ray Charles piano and woozy pedal steel, is a sob story in which a single mum explains to her child that her make-up ‘don’t run like your daddy did’.

It sounds like a parody but it’s the best track here.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5


FemaleFirst.co.uk
By Daniel Falconer

Proving that she still has exactly what it takes to make you take notice, Sheryl Crow is back with a brand new studio packed full of country-infused tracks to get you grooving along.

Laced with attitude throughout, she encompasses everything an empowering and creative female artist should, maintaining class but sticking it to the man when needs be.

Her direction may have changed here but the swagger we all know her for is firmly intact. With that change of direction into the country genre will come doubters, but one listen through to this record - especially with 'Easy' and 'Waterproof Mascara' - will prove exactly how unneccessary those doubts are.

Infectious guitars are woven throughout the addictive tunes, and when the pace is slowed the emotion evoked is easy to realise - Sheryl grasps the bull by both horns in this collection of beautiful tracks and does so in style.

It's a great addition to her back catalogue and she should be proud of her efforts - she continues to solidify her position as a legend of the business.

'Feels Like Home' is released January 27 through Warner Music Nashville.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Country.de
By Thomas Waldherr

Note: this review was translated from german with Google translate, so it's not totally accurate.

Feels Like Home by Sheryl Crow presented its ninth studio plate recently. Almost twenty years after her breakthrough with "Tuesday Night Music Club" now her first country album. And yet has not changed that much. Because their music always was based very strongly on the country & western and folk-rock tradition.

And so with this album like this aspect have been pushed in a bit of arrangement and production in the foreground, it is nevertheless not become over-produced completely smooth polished Nashville mainstream album. She continues to make her palatable rock folk-rock-country music and brought the genre with "Waterproof Mascara" finally again a strong woman song.

Since 1994, her star in the music business came up Sheryl Crow is an inseparable part of the scene. Plate successes, strong songwriting, powerful live performances and working with music greats such as Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan - the legendary masterpiece "Mississippi" was published by her first on board - made for an excellent standing.

But it was not always really happy with her. At the beginning of her solo career was the quarrel with their fellow musicians of the "Tuesday Music Club", later a liaison with the least controversial and "fallen" Texas cycling hero Lance Armstrong. And not too long ago, a benign brain tumor in her was also noted.

But Mrs. Crow is a real fighter, she fought against all odds and they just re-invented. From rock to country lady heroine. Because at some point you all come back to the country that the Great rock singer-songwriter craft. Bob Dylan and Van Morrison's preference is well known for the genre, but recently also surprised Leonard Cohen and Eric Clapton on their live concerts with country tones. By the ladies it was last Melissa Etheridge confessed to her country roots, now including Sheryl Crow with her new album, "Feels Like Home". The title does not mean other than the country music is their home course.

Certainly a clever marketing strategy because you know how "sustainable" success in the country music is because you are dealing with an extremely loyal audience. But can you look at the album then times correctly, so you just heard only good, breezy singer-songwriter country rock.

Two songs already caused in advance of publication furore: Firstly, the first single "Easy", a typical Sheryl Crow song climbed the charts proficient upward, on the other hand the piece "Waterproof Mascara", that of single These mothers and was written by none other than country superstar Brad Paisley. This is of particular coup on their ninth studio album. "I got him to write a song about women single mothers," Sheryl proudly reported. In all frankness of Paisley, to overcome the boundaries between genres - here she has accomplished something great. Such topics in contemporary country music too rarely taken.

But otherwise they remain thematically largely on familiar territory: Good humor, love, Open Sky - performed by a confident woman. Musically, the album is perfectly balanced between Outgoing numbers like "Shotgun" and slower ballads like "Give It To Me". The finale is the emotional ballad "Stay At Home Mother". Beautiful.

Conclusion: A strong album a strong woman and a perfect soundtrack for the ride on the highway!

Full review (in german) @ http://www.country.de/2013/11/01/sheryl-crow-feels-like-home/

Rating: very favorable


LemonadeMagazine.net
By Brandon Lemons

When I received this album for review, the emphasis was put on it being Sheryl Crow's first Country album. Suddenly I found myself remembering CMT being on the television when I was a kid/teen and seeing "Steve McQueen", "First Cut is the Deepest" and "Picture" regulary on the channel. Now I understand that those were simply singles that found their way jumping over the pop/country border, but it still made me laugh a little. Then I read the track listings and noticed some of the names and expected the worse. Being someone who grew up with country music, I have only seen the genre beome more and more stereotypical and even it's successes seem to be self mocking the "country lifestyle" much to my dismay.

What do they say though? Don't judge an album, by the names of the tracks right? Something like that....anyway, I am glad I didn't because although the album does try a way too hard to express that it IS a country album at times, I can't help, but feel like we have never heard Crow's voice quite so good. Sure tracks like "Crazy Ain't Original" and "We Oughta Be Drinking" are painfully expected on a "first Country album" for a pop artist, but they are more than made up for with beyond beautiful tracks like "Give it to Me" where Crow's pleading vocals will make your hair stand on end and "Waterproof Mascara" where Crow tells the story of a child that's been abandoned by his father with the words "And so I wear waterproof mascara. There's things you shouldn't see when you're a kid. Thank God they make waterproof mascara 'Cuz it won't run like his daddy did"

The concept seems gimmicky and perhaps it is, but you can't take away the fact that Crow seems to not only still have it, but her vocals have actually found the Fountain of Youth....then again, looking at her, maybe she has just found the Fountain of Youth in general? Regardless, Feels Like Home is for the most part fantastic and a breath of fresh air. I have a hard time believing that many would disagree.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


TheMaxOnline.net

It isn’t that much of a stretch to consider a country album from Sheryl Crow. Her music has always dabbled in the outskirts of the genre way back to her first album Tuesday Night Music Club. Strong Enough is easily as much a country song as most of Taylor Swift‘s singles.

With her eighth album Feels Like Home, Sheryl doesn’t just dabble in the genre – she jumps right in, resulting in an album that is more country-sounding than what many of today’s big country stars release. She sounds right at home on the record, delivering an authentic set of songs, most of which she co-wrote in Nashville.

She uses very obvious themes of country music, even as indicated with the titles of songs like Shotgun, We Oughta Be Drinkin’ and Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely. The themes are so obvious that the album plays like an episode of the television series Nashville, where the songs are often exaggerated country tunes meant to give little doubt that they’re country.

Sheryl leaves little room for doubt that this is her move to country, complete with lyrics and her adopting of the country twang in her singing. Coming from a pop star, they would feel like mockery but from Sheryl, they sound like a tribute.

The first single, Easy, released back in April, was a good transition into the album as it displayed some of Sheryl’s brand of southern rock but hinted at what else was coming. It was welcoming to those who knew her, with its light and breezy sound that would make it fit comfortably next to Summer Day or Soak Up The Sun. The song is now Top 20 on Country radio.

While Easy is relaxing and happy, most of the album consists of sad, country songs. Give It To Me and Waterproof Mascasa are two of the highlights. On the latter, a tribute to her son, Sheryl hits the heart with the line “Thank God they make waterproof mascara/’Cuz it won’t run like his daddy did.”

Feels Like Home may be too country for country radio but deserves to find a home in country music fans. It’s an album that is long overdue from Sheryl and easily her best in a decade. It’s cliché but it’s from the heart.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Rocktimes.de
By Daniel Daus

Note: this review was translated from german with Google translate, so it's not totally accurate.

A beautiful blend of country, rock and also some mid-tempo ballad stronger tracks. Crow knows perfectly adapt their variable voice to the flair of the pieces, the musicians also know that at such a prominent personality then corresponding instrumental level must be driven .

The fluffy "Easy " with its easy-listening feel-good complexion has done it then also immediately in the top 20th We particularly liked the energetic tracks like "Shotgun ", " We Oughta Be Drinkin ' " (both with subtle " All I Wanna Do" reminiscences and beautiful electric guitars) , " Nobody's Business " ( southern- rock ) or "Best Of Times " ( rootsig , beautiful harp insert) . " Callin ' Me When I'm Lonely " in the brisk country-blues style and "Crazy Is not original " with its Backporch porch feeling to know also to inspire .

In typical country ballad " Give It To Me ", " Waterproof Mascara ", " Homesick " (good lyrics - all the way in Faltbooklet included) and the final " Stay At Home Mother" Niebank would then have liked a little more on may enter the Emotionalitätsbremse . So even simulated church bells to the various strings are then underpainting but once or twice a bit overkill - in the overall context for strong then rest but rather a side note , and finally but manageable .

Conclusion: Sheryl Crow's first excursion into the pure independent Country-/New country genre as a whole is almost perfect success. The songs are pleasant to the ear and are instrumented demanding. A good balance between mainstream (which actually takes place only very subtly and subliminally ) and traditional performance has been found. From Sheryl dedicated , versatile and seemingly easy walking of the tongue singing and also the choice of album title " Feels Like Home " is a certain well-being in the genre can be stated . Fabric somewhere in the intersection between Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack and Martina McBride on the one hand and Pistol Annies, The Wreckers or Julie Roberts on the other . So it is allowed to continue like Ms. Crow !

Full review (in german) @ http://www.rocktimes.de/gesamt/c/sheryl_crow/feels_like_home.html

Rating: very favorable


Est.hu
By Steiner K.

Note: this review was translated from hungarian with Google translate, so it's not totally accurate.

The decision was adopted by many with reservations - especially the hardcore genre fans - but Sheryl did speak of that when you listen to music from an early ( like , say, All I Wanna Do) , you can easily explore the kacsintgatást to the country . 1993 album Tuesday Night Music Club and was featured in a song - the No One Said It Would Be Easy - Dolly Parton is quite sikeredett Town , in addition to a countryhuszárok plates also have a guest like Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash.

The disc becomes clear listening to Sheryl country music as much right to play as , say, Shania Twain . Easy to America has been a real radio favorite , and no wonder , since a positive , kind and fun to this year's Indian summer ( if at all, will be one) would be the official anthem. But the album is not only housed in light - Tingli Tangled : Waterproof Mascara here as that is not only musically a masterpiece , but also a deep and captivating lyrics . "Thank God for waterproof szempillaspirálért - so you do not run the make-up , as it did for my son 's father " - sings . The Homesick is hovering somewhere between the two extremes : the singer tells of a long-awaited return home , but when he arrives, he finds no one was really looking forward . The album's title ironically " like home " , but this song turns out to where you are in the home, Sheryl does not know it exactly . The nine Grammy -winning singer said in an interview, boasting : a 1964 Gibson Country and Western acoustic guitar , which is "little money maker " called noble simplicity - this is all just wrote songs that became radio favorites . Well, the mascot guitar sound was again highlighted in the disk - who knows, maybe it was the primary reason that Sheryl country production of records by the head. Either way, it did very well, " Moneyball " is already on Billboard's 17 takes us to the place of their first singles.

(http://est.hu/cikk/107082 - the original review)

Rating: 7 stars out of 10


TheMusic.com.au
By Mat Lee

Feels Like Home is a bold career move for Crow, dabbling in the Nashville territory she was surrounded with as a child. However, the ever-changing songstress has adapted her voice and songwriting to slide effortlessly to country. Making effective use of honest storytelling, songs like Homesick and vocal master class Give It To Me possess a transparency pivotal to the genre, while Crazy Ain’t Original is a refreshing, light-hearted stab at the world’s Mileys and Lohans. While some songs fall into obscurity, treasures like Waterproof Mascara prove that Sheryl Crow is very comfortable in country, just as the title suggests.

Rating: 3,5 stars ouf of 5


Confrontmagazine.com
By Lindsay Becker

Sheryl Crow released her eighth album and first country album earlier this month. Feels Like Home is hardly the most country album ever, but for Crow it's country as fuck. While Crow has mixed country into her songs before this album is the most country thing she's done.

The album starts out with two easy breezy country anthems "Shotgun" and "Easy," the album's first single. These songs are about pure fun and enjoying life with riding in a truck and getting drunk on a beach.

The next song, "Give it to Me" is sex song, or as close to a sex song as country can get. The song has soulful vocals from Crow and is great song. The next song "We Oughta Be Drinkin'" is a song about as crow puts it "getting shitfaced." This song is an album highlight and should be a single.

The next track, "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely" is along the same lines of "Give it to Me." It's about Crow's ex calling her when she's lonely and trying to get it in.
"Waterproof Mascara" is a tearjerker of a song. It's about a single mom who has to deal with no t having her son's father in his life. She wants her son to have a dad and her ex is clearly not around.

"It won't run like his daddy did," Crow sings during the chorus. This song is purely heartbreaking and gorgeous.
The next song is one of the best songs on the album "Crazy Ain't Original." In this song Crow examines the crazy world we live in. She examines pop culture and our fame obsessed society.

"Well those neighbors we all tried to stay away from/ Twelve kids were not enough, they had thirteen/ And what everybody used to call a freak show/ Well now we call reality TV," Crow sings during the second verse.

"Nobody's Business" is a country rocker about a relationship that Crow is in that people can't seem to stop talking about.

The next song "Homesick" is a forgettable ballad but it's followed up by two of the album's best songs. "Homecoming Queen" discusses a woman who peaked in high school and "Best of Times," which is a fast rocker where Crow again examines our culture.

"I've got a custom Continental/ Made in 1965/ With a "save the planet" sticker/ That makes it kind of hard to drive," Crow sings in the first verse.

The album closes with the ballad "Stay at Home Mother," this song has a similar theme to "Waterproof Mascara." It's a decent song, but not as good as the latter or a lot of the songs here.

This album is surprisingly good and it's one of Crow's best cohesive albums. Hopefully she keeps with the country sound for her next album.

Rating: very favourable


Confrontmagazine.com
By Lindsay Becker

With 8 full-length albums under her thumb and 35 million records sold around the world, Sheryl Crow has clearly made her mark in the music industry. She is a talent that has literally been on a roll for the past 20 years providing us with such hit songs as “My Favorite Mistake” and “Soak Up The Sun.” Now, the singer/songwriter has decided to add ‘country star’ to her title as well. The 9 time Grammy Award winner is back with her first country album ‘Feels Like Home’ which dropped September 10th. Recorded in Nashville, Tenn. and produced by Grammy award-winning producer Justin Niebank, the first single “Easy” is sitting comfortably on the CT40 ( Country Top 40).

When I first became aware that Sheryl Crow was planning to release a country album, I didn’t think it was very far fetched as she released 100 Miles From Memphis back in 2010; an album that channels her inner southern heritage. Also, a number of her classic songs which date back to her self-titled album Sheryl Crow, have always had country elements to them. I knew it was only a matter of time before she decided to take a stab at writing a country album.

“Shotgun” is the first song to jump start Feels Like Home and show cases what listeners will expect from the rest of the album. Just by the title you know right away that you are in for a twangy structured track. It also happens to be one of my favorites due to it’s catchy guitar intro and free spirited lyrics such as “ Drive it like it’s stolen / park it like it’s rented / what’s the point of money if your not going to spend it / there’s a reason roads go past the city limits.” It also reminds me of one of her classics “Steve McQueen.” Where as “ Nobody’s Business” is another admired song of mine that will have you jamming out to the alluring guitar solo and strong message about being in love with someone and not caring about what other people say or think.

While “Easy” projects Crow’s 90’s signature easy rock vibe dating back to Tuesday Night Music Club. Releasing “Easy” as her first single was a good choice as it’s more mainstream friendly and won’t get pigeonhole in one particular genera. Not to mention Crows stellar smooth vocals and trademark structured songs. While “Water Proof Mascara” and “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” were co-written with Brad Paisley. The tracks talk about heartbreak and seeking answers for events that have taken place. These two will pluck at your heart and have you singing along as if you were the one being wronged.

After listening to her highly anticipated 12 track listing I realized that there are not only country elements, but a mixture of rock and pop components in such songs as “Give It To Me.” Which are reminiscent to Faith Hill’s and Shania Twain’s more modern main stream friendly country songs.

Overall, as a Sheryl Crow fan myself I enjoyed listening to her album even though there were a few songs that did not leave lasting impressions on me “ Homesick ” and “Homecoming Queen.” Also, some of her new tunes sound similar to her past material. That’s not necessarily negative as she has given us a number of memorable tunes. Even so, whether you are mending a broken heart, pondering about past events or are just looking to let lose, Feels Like Home has a song that everyone can relate to.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Philly.com
By David Hiltbrand

In this affecting and often authentic genre-jumper, Crow loads up on country music's most reliable staple: the sentimental story song. Among the poignant homilies: "Homecoming Queen" and "Waterproof Mascara" (lyric: "It won't run like his daddy did"). Crow even channels a little Dolly Parton for the catchy "Homesick." The Chesneyian three-sheets waltz "Easy" has already scaled the country charts, and the Okie whomp "Shotgun" should also make the climb. Lovely and limpid, Feels Like Home won't rock your world, but that's sort of the point.

Rating: 3 Stars out of 4


Stuff.co.nz
By James Belfield

Sounding like an Opry various album, Crow slip-slides her way through Nashville drinkin' songs, belts out country-rock summer radio driving songs and tear-jerks the odd gal-done-wrong lament.

For someone who was once a Michael Jackson and Tina Turner backing singer, and who's appeared on stage with Luciano Pavarotti, Crow's proved she can play whatever role a record company requires.

With the odd utterly terrible lyric ("At least they make waterproof mascara, because it won't run, just like his daddy did"!) . . . it'll probably sell by the truck-load in the US, but let's just leave it to them, eh?

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5


Country Music Matters
By Krissie

Sheryl Crow is certainly no stranger to the music business. With hit songs like “All I Wanna Do,” “Soak Up the Sun,” “If It Makes You Happy,” and so many more, Sheryl has become a household name. She has certainly made a name for herself as singer, songwriter and musician…but how does she measure up in the country genre? She recently released her debut country album “Feels Like Home” and as cliché as it sounds Sheryl makes country music feel like her home. This country album fits her like a glove and she has proven to make a seamless transition into the genre.

I know there is always talk when an artist makes the switch, but I think Sheryl is a natural fit. Her songs were never “Pop” sounding. In addition she writes music, plays guitar and her voice is very well suited to deliver a country lyric. In the days of “twerking” and “Blurred Lines” do you really think Sheryl fits in that genre? I certainly don’t and am glad she has decided to make “Feels Like Home.” Artists like Brad Paisley and Vince Gill have always been big proponents of Sheryl’s music and she has no doubt done them proud. According to GAC she worked with producer Justin Niebank and co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks on the album.

From the first listen you will realize Sheryl has created an album that is decidedly more traditionally country sounding than most other albums out today. It kicks off with the upbeat tempo song “Shotgun” and is followed by the hit lead single “Easy.” There are many highpoints throughout the album including the heartfelt “Give It To Me,” and the funky “We Oughta Be Drinkin.’” Sheryl really shows vulnerability and emotion in her voice on “Waterproof Mascara” as she sings lyrics like,

And so I wear waterproof mascara/There’s things you shouldn’t see when you’re a kid/Thank God they make waterproof mascara/’Cuz it won’t run like his daddy did

Sheryl has a way with words and demonstrates that along with her sense of humor on the entertaining song “Crazy Ain’t Original” and she turns things up a notch on the bluesy “Nobody’s Business.”

Sheryl Crow has a distinctive voice and mixing it with great songwriting and a bit of a twang has proven to be an incredible idea. I was excited about the release of “Feels Like Home,” but it surpassed my expectations. I would recommend giving this true country album a listen and I hope Sheryl chooses to stick around in country music, I for one am glad she came!

“Feels Like Home” is available now on iTunes. Also check out this awesome article by USA Today that features 10 things you should know about “Feels Like Home.” It has some really cool facts about the making of the album and you can read that HERE

Rating: very favourable


HittingAllTheRightNotes.com
By Donna Block

American singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has long been associated with country music whilst not formally being part of the genre. Her newest album Feels Like Home is the singer's first complete foray into country music. After performing Coal Miner's Daughter alongside Miranda Lambert and Loretta Lynn at the 2010 CMA Awards, country star Brad Paisley suggested that she "come home" to the format he believed she belonged to and this album is the result of that.

Feels Like Home is a very accomplished selection of twelve tracks and reminds fans of hits such as Everyday Is A Winding Road and The First Cut Is The Deepest as well as introducing more of a country feel that I am sure will be popular. Sheryl seems to have a lot of respect for the country genre and for the fans and wanted to reassure sceptics, saying “I’ve seen other kind of pop-oriented people come over to the format and kinda try to capitalise on the loyalty of the country fan base, and I’m super-persnickety about it".

The Brent Anderson and Rodney Clawson written Callin' Me When I'm Lonely is one of my favourite songs on the album. The instrumentalisation is a perfect level and Sheryl delivers a confident performance. Starting with a drums and electric guitar intro this is immediately then stripped back when Sheryl starts singing, allowing the focus to be on the vocals. In my opinion her voice really suits country music and it seems to be something she is comfortable in.
I also found Homecoming Queen to be another favourite. It is one of the more sombre tracks on the album but opens up for Sheryl to deliver an emotive performance. The instrumentalisation fits in with the story behind the track and also keeps what is quite a slow track moving along well. Lyrically it is also very strong and I would definitely suggest listening closely.

It is also definitely worth mentioning the emotional Waterproof Mascara. It has been frequently suggested that the track hearkens back to the era of country stars such as Tammy Wynette and Kitty Wells and I would definitely agree. Sheryl gives a heartfelt performance of what is lyrically a brilliant song however I would have liked to have had the instrumentalisation stripped back a bit - possibly with just her and an acoustic guitar to allow even more emotion to come through.

My least favourite songs are probably Give It To Me and Stay At Home Mother. Give It To Me features excellent backing vocals from Vince Gill and Ashley Monroe however I feel the full orchestral arrangement at points is too much and then the verses feel a little flat. Stay At Home Mother is lyrically a strong song however the instrumentalisation and overall production makes the track feel a little dull, particularly when you compare it to more upbeat tracks such as Shotgun and current single Easy.

Track listing

1) Shotgun - Sheryl Crow, Chris DuBois, Kelley Lovelace, John Shanks
2) Easy - Sheryl Crow, Chris DuBois, Jeff Trott
3) Give It To Me (featuring Vince Gill and Ashley Monroe) - Sheryl Crow, Jeff Trott
4) We Oughta Be Drinkin' - Sheryl Crow, Chris DuBois, Luke Laird
5) Callin' Me When I'm Lonely - Rodney Clawson, Brent Anderson
6) Waterproof Mascara - Sheryl Crow, Chris DuBois, Brad Paisley
7) Crazy Ain't Original (featuring Ashley Monroe) - Sheryl Crow, Al Anderson, Leslie Satcher
8) Nobody's Business - Sheryl Crow, Chris DuBois, Kelley Lovelace
9) Homesick (featuring Zac Brown) - Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton
10) Homecoming Queen - Brandy Clark, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally
11) Best Of Times - Sheryl Crow, Al Anderson, Leslie Satcher
12) Stay At Home Mother - Sheryl Crow, Natalie Hemby

Recommended tracks - Callin' Me When I'm Lonely, Homecoming Queen, Shotgun, Easy and Waterproof Mascara.

This is a really strong album from Sheryl Crow and I sincerely hope country fans do not write her off as an artist trying to capitalise on the genre's popularity as I honestly believe she is more deserving of a place in the genre than artists such as Kelly Clarkson and even to an extent Taylor Swift.

Rating: very favourable


Got Country Online
By Donna Block

Many years ago, the ‘American Dream’ home was a house with a white picket fence. That showed the neighbors you’d achieved the ‘dream’ lifestyle. The emphasis was on the outside, the construction of the physical structure.

Odds are if you were to ask someone today their vision of home, it would not come close to that 1950s version. Home is where the heart is (excuse the cliché). Whether it’s a singer’s tour bus, a climber’s tent, a student’s dorm room, doesn’t matter as it’s really where you feel you belong and are free to live as you choose.

The essence of home being anywhere is captured on Sheryl Crow’s Feels Like Home, her eighth studio album. With its opening track, “Shotgun“, the lyrics ring true – live life to the fullest, explore your world, take chances, and, if you’re inclined to, a sidekick along for the ride (think Batman and Robin, you know, Robin rides shotgun) past your comfort zone … drive it like it’s stolen, park it like it’s rented.

When you love someone, you want that person to be completely open, physically and emotionally. This would not be true of the person Sheryl sings about in “Give It To Me“. This man has chosen to push her away rather than open up – even though she already knows and accepts the ‘demons’ in his past.

Love can’t be a one-way street. If you stay in such a relationship, it could become the life described in the song “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely“. The guy who comes over when it suits him fine, when her defenses are as down and her feelings are being toyed with, cranked like a jack-in-the box, ready to pop. Best block that number on your phone.

“Waterproof Mascara“ (makeup that won’t run) – here is a woman rebuilding her and her young son’s lives after his daddy left. She cries when she is alone. When her little one asks why he left, she comforts him with an explanation that omits ‘grown-up stuff’ beyond his comprehension. One of her Nashville neighbors co-wrote this (just could become a country classic tune) with her – Brad Paisley – along with Chris DuBois and Kristin Wilkinson.

“Homesick“ is not a song about a child’s feeling going away to a sleepover the first time. Here it’s the feeling you get when you unlock your front door and enter to the painful realization that when he left, he took all the love that had made the house a home. The dreadful feeling closes in on you, making you want to be anywhere but here. The song features Zac Brown, and was co-written by Sheryl and Chris Stapleton.

The former Michael Jackson backup singer co-wrote all but two of the 12-tracks. She grew up three and a half hours from Nashville, in a farmland community. Sheryl chose to move to Nashville with her young sons, a place she says retains the small town feel she loves. Feels Like Home is her debut album for Warner Nashville. Co-produced with Justin Niebank, Sheryl feels this is the most focused album she has ever made because all the songs are about things she knows about, including “We Oughta Be Drinkin’”, “Crazy Ain’t Original, Best of Times“,

Sheryl says “It was amazing to be making an album in my community, and have my life still be my primary inspiration. I was still driving my kids to school in the morning, and doing mommy things in-between sessions. Having a structured time to work, and being able to work at my house, everything about this just felt very loving and homey. Like the title says, it just felt like home.”

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


Great American Country
By Daryl Addison

Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow’s first country album, Feels Like Home, is remarkably very, very country. Aligning herself more with the Ashley Monroes, Kacey Musgraves and Vince Gills of the genre, Sheryl’s eighth studio album sings of heartache and desire with a talent for razor sharp wordplay.

Working with acclaimed producer Justin Niebank (Vince’s Guitar Slinger, Ashley’s Like A Rose) and a who’s who list of Nashville hit songwriters, Sheryl steers clear of pop country trends in favor of a stripped down and traditional-based sound. Warm arrangements full of acoustic/electric guitar, pedal steel and a lockstep rhythm section flow easily through open production while Sheryl’s silky voice shows exactly why she’s won nine Grammy awards since her debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, in 1993.

Co-writing 10 of the album’s 12 songs, Sheryl heads straight for the door marked “Honky Tonk Heartache and Barroom Bliss” on Feels Like Home, which was released September 10. Exhibiting loneliness usually reserved for the most forlorn, “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” and “Waterproof Mascara” (which she co-wrote with Brad Paisley) are soul-baring and raw. The former builds around faraway, blues-filled guitar melodies while the latter features one of the most cutting lines in recent memory. Thank God they make waterproof mascara, she sings, because it won’t run like his daddy did. Add in classic Nashville Sound strings, the low hum of guitar amps and Sheryl’s burdened delivery to create an exceedingly vulnerable experience.

Sheryl knows how to turn a phrase and much of Feels Like Home is packed with lyrical twists and witty double-meanings that illustrate deeper points. Taking shots at celeb-obsessed culture on “Crazy Ain’t Original,” she sings, What everyone used to call a freak show/now we call reality TV. Singing of insulated small town life on “Homecoming Queen,” it’s the words, Too bad life ain’t like a local parade in your uncle’s Corvette on a Saturday, that drive the point home. Like she sings in the slow-mo, groove-focused, “Drinking,” where fuzzy guitar mimics tomorrow morning’s haze, we’re living in a country song, and Sheryl’s insight translates well to the stories on Feels Like Home.

Sheryl credits Vince Gill and Brad Paisley with helping to immerse her in Nashville’s songwriting scene when she first moved to Music City. Vince and Ashley Monroe guest on the seductive “Give It To Me” and Zac Brown joins on “Homesick.” The sublime chorus of “Homesick” pairs Sheryl and Zac in estranged harmony for one of the album’s finest moments. Here and on the moving “Stay At Home Mother,” dreamlike instrumentation wraps the songs in delicate emotion.

Not all the songs on Feels Like Home are delicate though. Letting loose with dirty guitar riffs on the walking contradiction “Best of Times” and a funk-blues bent on “Shotgun,” Sheryl’s not afraid to mix it up a little bit. “Nobody’s Business” has a swinging, ’70s rock vibe while the lead single “Easy” is as relaxed as a summer day spent on the back porch. Sheryl’s performances are always natural and her inspired deliveries leave little room to argue that in country music, she is most certainly feeling right at home.

Key Tracks – “Homesick,” “Drinking,” “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely,” “Crazy Ain’t Original”

Rating: very favourable


Entertainment Weekly
By

[The album] inlays modern Music City twang like turquoise in a belt buckle, while the lyrics funnel her cheery realism into finer-cut tales of staycations, sexually charged car talk, and how "Waterproof Mascara" won't "run like his daddy did." [13 Sep 2013, p.70]

Rating: 91 out of 100

Full review coming soon!


Calgary Herald
By Mike Bell

Late-career turns to Nashville — think Lionel Richie or Jon Bon Jovi — often have an air of novelty or desperation to them, even if they are bafflingly successful. On her eighth studio album, Crow is less-than-subtle in appropriating the new-country glint of Music City, dutifully trotting out at least half a dozen of its tropes with the help of professional song-polishers and presenting it all with session-band sparkle. Waterproof Mascara is a cloying Loretta Lynn-lite ode to single mothers, We Oughta Be Drinkin’ is about drinkin’, and Crazy Ain’t Original is one of those annoyingly pandering “what’s-wrong-with-this-world?” laments that should appeal to your dumb uncle. There’s some genuine gems tucked into the mix — the beautifully sung Give it to Me is a clear standout — but Crow often seems to be coasting on commercial country trends rather than offering anything inspired.

Rating: 2,5 stars out of 5


Examiner.com
By Michelle Lavallee

After years of living in the Nashville area, Sheryl Crow has released her first official country CD ‘Feels like home’. Fans of Crow have heard the country sound on some of her previous hits.

The album kicks off with a southern rock song ‘Shotgun’ and has a flare for the outlaw country sound. Moving away from the country pop which is played on radio today, Crow goes back to the classic country sounds of her Texas roots. Songs like ‘We oughta be drinkin’ and ‘Crazy ain’t original’ shows that Crow connects with older country music similar to the 1960’s and 1970’s female country songs which are observant and truthful. Crow touches the side of motherhood with songs like ‘Waterproof mascara’ and ‘Stay at home mother’. Crow also pulls at the heartstrings of listeners with ‘Homecoming queen’.

Crow has a refreshing sound to the current radio play on the country stations and gives listeners a glimpse into the current state of her life. ‘Feels like home’ definitely is home for Sheryl and fans of Crow will be looking forward to additional country music from her.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Maestro Blog
By Nick Franciosi

It's hard not to roll your eyes when hearing "Feels Like Home", Sheryl Crow's eighth album, tauted as her first country effort. Not only because Crow has always leaned on country melodies and roots-rock, but also because much of her music relied on acoustic guitars and old-fashioned values, so country music never really seemed like that big of a stretch.

Question is, is how much different could Crow make "Feels Like Home" from other material? Well, to put it simply, she essentially adds a few banjos here, throws a few ballads here, and tops it off with a few twangy guitars there. Other than those few subtle, but key, differences, this is straight-forward Sheryl Crow. Bedecked throughout the tracks is her uncanny knack for squeezing in pop culture, as she takes down Hollywood in "Crazy Ain't Original", homage to core values in "Stay At Home Mother", and in some cases, retains her wide musicality, providing drum-machine beats for "We Oughta Be Drinkin'". All of these elements create a warm and inviting listen, both to long-time Crow fans and country audiences alike. Unsurprisingly, Crow bridges the gap between rock and country seamlessly, as "Feels Like Home" has very little filler (most likely to conform with country music requirements), and the whole thing clocks in at 44 minutes, making this her shortest album.

The only flaw that undercuts this record is that while Crow is working with big country names (Brad Paisley, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally), but she's not quite able to inhabit the role of a country starlet. While this is a good record, one of Crow's best, it doesn't make her a contemporary to Kacey Musgraves or Miranda Lambert, and as much as she wouldn't like to admit it, the striking similarities between this and, say "100 Miles from Memphis" and "Detours", illustrate her as a rock artist with country influences, not the inverse. But the one or two tracks brought down by this (you are hereby advised to skip "Best of Times") don't detract from what's otherwise a sturdy, melodic, and engaging set of music. Sure there are too many slow cuts and it meanders half-way through, but as a whole, it feels like it's projected length and resonates past it.

"Feels Like Home" won't change the world like "Tuesday Night Music Club" and "Sheryl Crow" did, but it does catch Crow in full control of her voice, her sound, and above all else, she has finally turned into the country artist we knew she always would be.

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5


Graemeoneil.com
By Graeme O'Neil

Sheryl Crow‘s sound has always a country touch to it. Just listen to past tracks like “Strong Enough”, “C’mon C’mon”, “Abilene” (with Natalie Maines), “All I Wanna Do”, “Members Only” and “Picture” with Kid Rock. She’s always existed in a pop/rock sound that has an acoustic southern sound to it, but now she has officially her first full-out country album, Feels Like Home.

First single “Easy” actually doesn’t sound too different from Crow’s past work (and it’s crazy catchy), but the rest of the album takes on a much more country feel. Heck, look no further than some of the song titles: “Shotgun”, “We Oughta Be Drinkin’”, and “Homecoming Queen”. Guns, booze, and small town proms. That’s most of country music content right there! The sound fits Crow like a glove, and she has always been an artist that is superb at putting together a great album. In her 20 year career, she’s only had one misstep of an album (Wildflower). Other than that, she has created wonderful collections that are always amongst the best of the year.

She’s got stellar songs here too, like “Give It To Me”, a power ballad that explodes with passion, “We Oughta Be Drinkin’” has the feel of “All I Wanna Do”, “Crazy Ain’t Original These Days” takes a shot at tabloid celebrities, and “Nobody’s Business” has a great country rock swing to it.

“Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” is one of two songs not written by Crow, and it shows. It feels like a phoned in song that lacks feeling from Crow. The complete opposite is the next track, “Waterproof Mascara”, written by Crow and a couple other writers including Brad Paisley. It’s a devastatingly emotional song about Crow struggling to be a single mother, all under the analogy of frivolous makeup.

Crow always does a superb job at putting together a collection of songs that have a cohesive sound, but each one still has a clear distinction to it. You’ll know exactly what song it is within 5-10 seconds of the song starting. Even on great albums, it’s hard to tell certain songs apart until you get to the chorus. The full out country style on Feels Like Home does cause Sheryl to lose some of her bite. Some of the production feels forcibly restrained in order to stay within the confines of a country sound, but Crow has made the jump into another genre look easy.

Rating B+


Gaffa (Danish music magazine)
By Jan Opstrup Poulsen

Note: this review was translated from danish with Google translate, so it's not totally accurate.

Sheryl Crow's career has always been based on the solid American music traditions. She started out as a country rock's new queen, and has since managed his talent with great fluidity. Sheryl Crow has certainly grown the sweet tone and tended to disappear in a forgettable musical wrapping. But the song has always been a place, and with her sharp phrasing, she has consistently been a central figure in the American mainstream scene.

In Feels Like Home says the spruce to be condoned to Sheryl Crow has come home. The album was recorded in the country hometown of Nashville, and the more clean and classic country toner clothes so much a playful Sheryl Crow, providing the full speed, so even a Dolly Parton will find it hard to keep up.

It is a very fine fusion of her popped tone and countryens earthbound expression that comes right eminently expressed in the energetic Callin 'Me When I'm Lonely. And it's generally strong song material on Feels Like Home, and few can vent tresses as Sheryl Crow, when the songs delivered in uptempo. The album is a bit of a show of easily digestible country rock when it's played with the heart, and the concept of mainstream goes and becomes a pleasure.

And with age is Sheryl Crow's wheedling voice certainly not inferior. It has been given a more rusty character, and provides a strong contrast to the after all quite smooth production that frame Feels Like Home. One can only hope that Sheryl Crow gets home.

Rating: 4 stars out of 6


Digital Journal
By Markos Papadatos

Sheryl Crow has found her 'Home' in country music with new CD

Sheryl Crow released her newest country album "Feels Like Home" on September 10, via her record label, Warner Music Nashville. A nine-time Grammy-winning songstress, Crow co-produced the project with Justin Niebank and she co-wrote ten out of its 12 tracks.

The opening track "Shotgun" is strong with a neat tempo to it and it is followed by her lead-off single, the smooth "Easy," where sings about a stay-cation.
"Give it To Me" features Vince Gill and Ashley Monroe on backing vocals and "We Oughta Be Drinkin'" has a traditional country vibe to it.

The highlight track on the CD is the stellar ballad "Waterproof Mascara," which she co-wrote with country mega-star Brad Paisley and it would make an excellent choice for a follow-up radio single.

"Nobody's Business" is more upbeat and Zac Brown, the lead singer of the Zac Brown Band, joins her on harmonies on "Homesick."

"Homecoming Queen" also has potential to become a single in the future, which is the ultimate paradigm of her superb storytelling ability.

She chances the pace with the up-tempo "Best of Times" and it closes with the soothing "Stay At Home Mother," where she showcases her angelic vocals.

The Verdict

Sheryl Crow has certainly found her new "home" in country music with this record. It is evident that she co-produced and co-wrote an album that is from the heart. It is a very promising debut by one of pop and rock's music most decorated female vocalists. She conveys a lot of love towards the country genre and she connects well with her audiences.

It garners 4.5 out of 5 stars and this will be the album that will aid her in securing nominations for "Female Vocalist of the Year" at a future Academy of Country Music (ACM) or Country Music Association (CMA) awards ceremony. Well done Sheryl Crow.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


Renowed for Sound
by Josh Dixon

Earlier in the decade, Sheryl Crow emerged as a dominating force in the world of radio-friendly pop/rock. Now, she’s saddled up and ventured into the world of country music. While this change in direction and style could alienate some of Crow’s fans, the album is an expertly crafted one and breeds a wealth of authenticity and passion. Feels Like Home proves Crow’s versatility as an artist while also performing as an exceptional album, regardless of genre stipulations. - See more at: http://renownedforsound.com/index.php/album-review-sheryl-crow-feels-like-home/#sthash.EVGN1Irr.dpuf

Of course, most people are aware of who Sheryl Crow is. She’s won multiple Grammy awards, released several best-selling albums, and toured the world many times. However, the sound that is heard on Feels Like Home is unlike anything Crow has produced before.

Simply put, Feels Like Home is a country album. While this style is somewhat of a departure from Crow’s previous pop/rock and blues offerings, it makes sense given her history with Nashville. This is the place Crow calls home, and this fact is made evidently clear on this new album.

The best writing advice any writer will ever be given is to “write what you know.” On Feels Like Home, that’s exactly what Sheryl Crow has done, and it’s paid off in enormous ways. Crow worked closely with a slew of writers: her long time collaborator Jeff Trott (who co-wrote If It Makes You Happy) and a series of other collaborators including Chris DuBois, and country superstar Brad Paisley. What results is a collection of 12 songs that feels incredibly passionate while also remaining meticulously focused.

What is most noticeable on Feels Like Home, compared to Crow’s previous seven LPs, exists within the lyrics. Here, the songs are punchy and to the point. They tell concise stories, but they never come across as clichéd. While the songs make use of everyday themes that many of us can relate to, they are each uniquely Crow’s own personal portrayals of life.

Whether it’s on the tear-jerker Waterproof Mascara, or the rallying Drinking, Crow puts forth ideas that are easy to empathize with thus making for an album grounded in everyday life.

All that to say, Feels Like Home still exhibits moments of diversity. Easy and Shotgun are the album’s two most radio-friendly tracks in that they are large without being abrasive. Crow has clearly taken a note or two from female contemporaries in the form of Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood here, all while adding here own unique spin to anoverplayed formula. Anthemic songs such as these then transitions into emotional ballads like Waterproof Mascara andCallin’ Me When I’m Lonely making for a roller coaster ride of nuanced emotion and musicality.

Overall, Feels Like Home is just a really good album. Whether you are an avid fan of country music, or you are the type to turn your nose up at the genre, I guarantee you will find something to enjoy within this album.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Dailycampus.com
by Claire Gavin

Adding to an impressive résumé of seven albums and a career that spans over two decades, Sheryl Crow released her newest album, “Feels Like Home,” on Sept. 10.

This 12-track album is Crow’s first country album, although the singer has dabbled in country throughout her life. Featuring Zac Brown, Vince Gill and Ashley Monroe, Crow manages to create a country album with just enough blues and rock to keep her old listeners interested, while still welcoming new country listeners.

“Sheryl Crow is nothing if not versatile… her eighth LP digs deeper into country tradition than she’s ever gone before. The results are uneven, but never feel forced or faked,” Rolling Stones posted online.

Certain tracks are more noteworthy than others, although each song brings something different to the album.

The single “Easy,” released in March, played on country radio as a summer anthem. Crow struck gold with this song, as the song emulates the laid-back country living most listeners adore.

The true gem of this album is the sixth track, “Waterproof Mascara.” Unlike the majority of the album, this song is not directed to her lover, but rather to her adopted son about his father’s absence. With lyrics such as, “There’s things you shouldn’t see when you’re a kid. Thank God they make waterproof mascara, because it won’t run like his daddy did,” this tearjerker is sure to be a hit.

Crow travels back to her roots in the hard twang rock songs of the album, such as “Nobody’s Business” and the opener, “Shotgun.”

Despite Crow’s most successful venture into country music to date, her lyrics lack the catchy creativity that most country tunes possess.

However, a few of Crow’s songs stand as social commentary, such as “Crazy Ain’t Original” and “Best of Times,” a feat only a few country stars have managed to do, and even fewer have done right. Crow manages to be critical, but not insulting; a lesson Brad Paisley could take after his homophobic “I’m Still a Guy” dropped.

To close the album, Crow contrasts her lively opener with a sweet melodic piece, “Stay at Home Mother.” Strikingly similar to work done by Alison Krauss, Crow again addresses a song to her child. Crow transcends into yet another genre as she emulates folk and bluegrass artists.

As the title suggests, Crow has created an album that truly does feel like home for her and for her listeners. Crow produced an album unlike any of her others, while simultaneously never straying from her roots.

“There are several songs on this album that are actually too country for country,” Crow said to the Chicago Tribune. “Those are the ones I’m most proud of.”

Rating: 9/10


Country Standard Time
By Jeffrey B. Remz

The list of artists who want to have gone country shows no signs of letting up. After the inclusion of everyone from Kid Rock (guess who sang on his Picture?) to Jimmy Buffett comes rootsy rocker Sheryl Crow, whose jump to what passes for country these days in the mainstream market pretty much makes her a first cousin and isn't all that far fetched.

But Crow is more country influenced than an outright country disc. Crow, who co-produced with Justin Niebank, sprinkles the songs with pedal steel and banjo here and there, but this represents no radical departure for Crow. The bright, lively Crow comes to the fore often - Drinking, one of a number of radio ready songs with an easy going style that gives her voice the chance to shine.

Crow starts off strongly with Shotgun where her voice is forceful and bold. While the song is more of a rocker - one of the few outright rockers on the disc - she also employs a healthy dose of banjo. Being that she recorded what is a modern country disc in Nashville, Crow opts for the smoother sounds emanating out of Music City these years. Give It To Me is a tad too smooth vocally with strings punctuating the song as Crow picks it up vocally. Waterproof Mascara, written in part with Brad Paisley about a single mother, with strings again prominent underscores the tender factor with Crow turning in a heartfelt delivery on a Sixties styled country song. When Crow gets tougher vocally just before the bridge at the mid-way point, she sounds more at home. Best of Times finds Crow veering more uptempo and far bigger sounding vocally. Catchy and forceful, it's one of the best songs here.

Calling Me When I'm Lonely sounds more like something in Shania Twain's wheelhouse with Crow employing pedal steel to give the song a country feel. Crow shows a different side, by going soft and tender on Homecoming Queen where she gets reflective about a girl who looked like "royalty/the girl we all wanted to be" before settling.

Crow doesn't win any plaudits for penning Easy, the first single and seemingly a throwaway where she sings "we'll put on bug spray/and we'll lose our clothes" and "we'll put on Jack Johnson/He's the new Don Ho." The lyrics may not win plaudits, but it's in keeping with the faster, easy going vibe. She does a whole lot better on Crazy Ain't Original with the sharp line "what everybody used to call a freak show/Well now we call reality TV" and the closing Stay At Home Mother.

Crow thinks the title describes where she's at when it comes to recording in Nashville, and she well may be right. After all, "going country" is not such a bad thing these days and in the hands of Crow, at least she stays close to her musical vision, and that's a good thing.

Rating: Favorable


Soundandvisionmag.com
by Ken Richardson

It’s conceivable that Sheryl Crow was listening to the likes of Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, and even The Superstar Swift until she said to herself, “I can do that.” Which is to say, “I can make sharp, catchy country music.”

She can indeed, judging from the evidence on Feels Like Home, her first album for Warner Bros. — make that Warner Music Nashville — after seven studio efforts for A&M. Her last one for that label, the soul-inspired 100 Miles from Memphis, wasn’t recorded in the titular town. But Crow did make her new album in Nashville, which is actually her current home. She enlisted Justin Niebank as co-producer and got help throughout from various co-writers, led by Brad Paisley collaborator Chris DuBois (with Paisley himself credited on one track).

In her press materials, Crow explains the benefit of both living and working in Nashville: Before she moved there, she hadn’t realized “what an amazing community it is. It’s the thing I’ve been missing my whole career — the feeling of being able to sit around with a guitar and have people know each other’s songs and know songs from people who’ve influenced all of us. When I moved here, pretty early on Vince Gill started calling me to do guitar pulls, and I thought, ‘Gosh, this is just like heaven on earth down here.’ ”

Often, the results are truly divine, as in the crisp electric-guitar riffs on “Shotgun” and the breezy chorus hook of “Easy” — not to mention “Best of Times,” which takes those guitars and that kind of chorus and puts them together in the same song. There’s also plenty of power in the ballad “Give It to Me.” Still, some of the finest moments here aren’t the biggest gestures but the ones that stay within themselves. They include “We Oughta Be Drinkin’,” sly instead of sloshed, and “Stay at Home Mother,” almost a prayer. It’s telling, too, that “Crazy Ain’t Original” dismisses our reality-TV culture not with an over-the-top rocker but with a cozy hand-clapper.

In other words, whereas Taylor-made music these days pushes the pop into the Red, Crow’s idea of Home — whether “Stay at Home Mother,” “Homecoming Queen,” or “Homesick” — still feels like country.

Rating: favorable


Milwuakee Journal Sentinel
by Jon M. Gilbertson

Fans of modern country music, you might be losing Taylor Swift to pop, but you might be gaining Sheryl Crow. You'll also be trading youth for experience, with the attendant bonus of not having to put up with songs about how tough romance is for pretty people.

You might also be pleased to know that Brad Paisley, as the co-producer of "Feels Like Home," helps Crow adjust to the neighborhood with more comfort than he found trying to remodel the block on his own "Wheelhouse." With further assistance from fellow songwriters, Crow works to make a home, not a house.

Sometimes, she's too much the model neighbor: "Shotgun" resembles "Steve McQueen" adjusted for NASCAR, and "Waterproof Mascara" drips strings and sentiment like a lesser ballad overseen by Billy Sherrill. However, when Crow tells the sad story of the "Homecoming Queen" or feels restless with "Homesick," she highlights her effortless maturity. Modern country music could use more of that.

Rating: mixed


Shewired.com
by Trudy Ring

There’s often been a touch of twang in Sheryl Crow’s music, amid the pop, rock, and folk elements, but the singer-songwriter goes full-on country in her new release, Feels Like Home, with generally good results.

The 12-track effort, out today, finds Crow incorporating the styles of Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Bobbie Gentry, and more into the trademark mix that’s made and kept her a star: catchy tunes with well-crafted lyrics, accessible enough to be widely popular, artistic enough to win critical respect.

Crow, who has lived in Nashville for several years, cowrote most of the songs on Feels Like Home; longtime songwriting partner Jeff Trott is one of her collaborators, as are Nashville luminaries such as Chris DuBois, Chris Stapleton, and Brad Paisley. Paisley’s also among the instrumentalists on the album, and vocal contributors include country stars Zac Brown and Vince Gill.

Some of the tracks are upbeat (for when all you want to do is have some fun), others slow and a little somber (in case you feel like hell tonight). The best of the former include first single “Easy,” a salute to the simple pleasures of staycations, written with Trott, and “Crazy Ain’t Original,” with observations on reality TV and celebrity bad behavior: “You’re just a bigger star ’cause one bad mug shot makes you much more interesting.”

There are a fair number of good cry-in-your-beer songs, such as “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely,” written by Rodney Clawson and Brent Anderson: “He’s at the front door now / With his magic smile / And he’ll be gone tomorrow / But right now he’s mine for a little while.” Another meditation on loneliness is the lovely, sad “Homesick,” which Crow penned with Stapleton and sings with Brown, noting, “I get homesick for anywhere but home … ’cause I miss you.”

“Stay at Home Mother” (envision the title as “stay at home, mother”) confronts the challenges of single parenthood — well, the life of any parent who has to leave their children for an extended period. It’s a situation Crow has experienced, as she adopted two children, now aged 4 and 6, after her breakup with Lance Armstrong. The song, she has said, has some commonalities with Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.”

Other noteworthy tracks include the wry “Best of Times,” cataloging many bizarre facets of modern life, and “Homecoming Queen,” a reminder that for those who peaked in high school, life afterward is bound to be downhill — and those of us who didn’t peak then can take a little comfort from the song.

On the whole, as Crow revisits tried-and-true country themes like drinking and lost love, and explores some less familiar territory as well, she turns in a largely appealing effort. There’s an occasional misstep, like the verging-on-self-parody lyric “Thank God they make waterproof mascara / ’Cause it won’t run like his daddy did” in “Waterproof Mascara,” but overall the album makes for easy listening, in the best sense. Speaking of which, watch the video for “Easy” below, and find out more about the album, released by Warner Music Nashville, and Crow’s fall tour in support of it here.

Rating: favorable


MIMO - Music Is My Oxygen
By Rob Burkhardt

Surprise, surprise. Roots-rocker Sheryl Crow has been maintaining an ongoing flirtation with the country scene for years—you know, hanging out in Nashville, showing up on country music awards shows, collaborating with country stars, etc., etc. So when it came out that her latest effort Feels Like Home would be decidedly a country album, the collective reaction was less shock-and-awe and more “it’s about damn time.”

The thing is, between the evolution of modern country to include more rock sensibilities and Crow’s own natural rootsy vibe, this was barely a stretch for her. In fact, I’d say about 70 percent of this material could have easily appeared on Crow’s earlier, non-country releases with hardly any tweaking. The first thing I noticed on the catchy opening track “Shotgun” (destined to be a hit) and the follow-up “Easy” (already a Top-20 hit) is Crow’s signature lightly effected electric guitar strum, so typical of her southern-rock style. Likewise, while “We Oughta Be Drinkin’” certainly carries a bit more twang, the fun-loving attitude and easy rhythmic clip are remarkably reminiscent to “All I Wanna Do.” In that regard, the album really does feel like something of a homecoming. In other words, Sheryl Crow isn’t trying to be country (like, say, Lionel Richie); she is country. Feels Like Home simply admits what was already true.

Having established that fact, Crow does manage to dive in head-first at times—almost as if to say, “Okay, so I’m country—now where can I go with that?” The question is answered with a few sentimental ventures into traditional country, female-diva style. “Homesick” could easily have been recorded by Faith Hill or Martina McBride, while the retro-sounding tear-jerker “Waterproof Mascara,” a song about single motherhood, brings back memories of classic Tammy Wynette. Speaking of motherhood, also in typical country fashion, parenthood is a time-of-life theme that Crow openly embraces in her songs, with the sentimental closer “Stay At Home Mother” resting comfortably on the same track list with sexier, sassier tunes like “Easy” and “Nobody’s Business.” And it’s worth mentioning here that throughout the record, her vocals have never been better.

Sheryl Crow is a versatile enough artist that it would be a mistake to pigeonhole her into a single style—and that includes country. There’s nothing on this album to suggest that Crow will be making records like this one from now on. But it is safe to say that the transition into country feels very much like a seamless one for Crow, and that for production value, songwriting and overall quality, Feels Like Home stands toe-to-toe with the likes of C’Mon, C’Mon and Sheryl Crow. This style might feel like home to Crow, but for us, the listeners, it feels like she’s come home, as well.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


New York Daily News
By Jim Farber

Country loves a hard-luck story. Seemingly any pop star whose career poops out can get a second shot by going south.

Witness the Nashville-based fallback plans of artists like Lionel Richie, Darius Rucker, Aaron Lewis, John Fogerty and, now, Sheryl Crow.

For the last seven years, Crow has owned a sprawling estate near Nashville. But her music boasts an even longer connection to Music Row. Pedal steel guitars laced key earlier arrangements. And 10 years ago, Crow and Kid Rock enjoyed a huge, worthy country smash, the pining Top Five ballad “Picture.”

More importantly, the twangy sound we used to call country long ago receded in Nashville, replaced by the same 1970s-based, sun-kissed soft rock that made Crow famous.

Even so, Crow made a few key changes, and hired some important help, to squeeze into the Nashville of now. She co-wrote many songs helped by scribes embedded in the scene, like Brad Paisley, Luke Laird and Shane McAnally. While Crow always had a feel for the personal stories that country prizes, here she chose simpler scenarios — ones in strong contrast to her earlier style.

The first hit of Crow’s career, “All I Wanna Do,” took a bohemian view of inebriation, recalling the flights of poet Charles Bukowski. The new “We Oughta Be Drinkin’ ” cuts right to the chase: “Well it sure feels like/we oughta be drinkin’!,” the chorus blurts.

The same song makes sure to shoehorn in bits of local color, like “feel like we’re living in a country song” or “roll a big fat one and watchin’ ‘Nashville’ alone.”

Rating: favorable


The Oakland Press
by Gary Graff

Country music is not exactly a stretch for Sheryl Crow; neither is pop for Keith Urban. So it's coincidental but still intriguing that the two are coming out with new albums on the same day that gravitate, successfully, toward each other's directions. The change certainly fits like a proverbial glove for Crow; her own singer-songwriter sensibilities have long embraced the image-rich, storytelling conventions of country music, and "Feels Like Home" - with help from Brad Paisley, Justin Niebank, Chris DuBois and other country stalwarts - actually hits more traditional points than most long-term country artists do today, particularly in tracks such as "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely," "Crazy Ain't Original" and "Homecoming Queen." But the rocker remains, too, and "Shotgun," "Nobody's Business" and the patriotic "Best of Times" are solid reminders of the world Crow came from.

Rating: 3 stars out of 4


Chicago Sun-Times
by Mark Guarino

This new and ultra-tuneful collection refocuses the singer on the basics: big-riffed barnburners and fist-pumping drinking songs like “Shotgun” and “Drinking” that sound geared to rouse crowds along the state fair circuit. Maturity suits Crow lyrically on fine country ballads like “Waterproof Mascara” and “Stay At Home Mother” that provide a deft look at the quiet dilemmas of middle age. That’s doesn’t mean she’s not above taking swipes at Millennials: “What everybody used to call a freak show/well, now we call reality TV,” she sings. “Anything you can think of has all been done before.” Are you listening Miley?

Rating: favorable


Montreal Gazette
by Mark J. Lepage

Well, it ought to, in a sense, feel like home. “We’ll play Jack Johnson / he’s the new Don Ho” Crow sings in the fun Easy, about a white trash staycation, and in truth, her country move isn’t all that far from her classic rock iteration. It’s still appealingly individual songwriting-by-committee… but she moves rightward here.

Crow revives countrypolitan in the over-everythinged Give It To Me and lays it on ridiculously sob-lush in Waterproof Mascara, her solidarity move with single moms. Crazy Ain’t Original is her reg’lar-folks-is-fed-up conservative pledge. Yeah, there’s a booze anthem, and the vocals sound newly processed. It’s a career saver, and not without its moments, but Easy isn’t just a song title – it’s a description of politics and stance. Only about the 30th album entitled Feels Like Home as well.

Rating: Mixed


Billboard Magazine
By Chuck Dauphin, Nashville

After over two decades of making records, Sheryl Crow enters into a new phase of her recording career with the Warner release of "Feels Like Home." Her decision to release an all-country project might surprise some, but a closer look at her music suggests that the genre has always been close to her heart. On her 1993 "Tuesday Night Music Club" album, the closing cut "No One Said It Would Be Easy" had a country influence, as have many of her works over the years -- including "Picture" with Kid Rock, and appearances on tribute records to Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash.

Does she shine in her country debut? Check out our track-by-track breakdown of Sheryl Crow's new album.

1. "Shotgun" - She may be changing direction, but that swagger is still intact. Inspired by a phrase her dad once told her - "Drive It Like It's Stolen, and Park It Like It's Rented," Crow kicks off this set with a cut that showcases the "bad ass" side of the singer in the same vein as such classic fare as "Steve McQueen." It sets the mood brilliantly.

2. "Easy" - Country radio has made this one of the highlights of the spring and summer months, as it sounds like a heavy dose of liquid sunshine. Not really a lot of pretense here, just a reminder that a romantic getaway can be wherever the heart is – even if it's no further than your own back yard.

3. "Give It to Me" - Crow credits some of the classic Emmylou Harris / Gram Parsons collaborations as being her influence here, and you can definitely hear that dramatic flair. At the same time – at least to this set of ears – you can hear somewhat of a 50s vibe to it. Making this cut all the more special are the harmonies from Vince Gill and Ashley Monroe. 

4. "Drinking" - Having made no secret of her love of the 60s sounds of Bobbie Gentry, this cut definitely has that Mississippi backwoods vibe to it, and the lyrics are irreverent  but yet to the point. As the saying goes, "It is what it is."

5. "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely" - One of two cuts that Crow didn't have a hand in co-writing on the disc, this has a definite contemporary sheen to it that she seems to really eschew. This has the term "radio single" written all over it. 

6. "Waterproof Mascara" - It goes without saying that there will be a few doubters about Crow as a country artist. To those, I suggest they hear this song – and their opinion will change. The lyrics and performance are heartfelt and personal, as you know she has lived each of these lines. Justin Niebank's production brings to mind the classic 70s sound of a Billy Sherrill / Tammy Wynette production. Adding to the classic feel of the song is the Tic Tac bass of Country Music Hall of Fame musician Harold Bradley. This is not just the performance of the album – but quite possibly a career performance, as well.

7. "Crazy Ain't Original" - Crow wrote this after being inspired by Merle Haggard following the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony where he was honored in 2010. You can hear that influence, but also that of Waylon Jennings -- especially on the humorous-yet-true lyrics that are a bit of social commentary. If nothing else, the song will make you think about current events in a new light.

8. "Nobody's Business" – Cool groove proves that there's still a little bit of a blues / rock to the singer, as this track about what goes on behind closed doors features some dynamic guitar work from Richard Bennett and Audley Freed.

9. "Homesick" - Co-written with Chris Stapleton, this song is one of the more bittersweet performances on the record. Crow is returning home from a long run on the road – only to realize that there's nobody there. The question of where and what "home" actually means becomes the theme of the track, which features Zac Brown on harmony.

10. "Homecoming Queen" - Another song that is a throwback to a bygone era, this one has that dramatic sound of the 60s and 70s to it, as well. Lyrically, it's a poignant look at how much things can change in a person's life in ten years. Next to "Waterproof Mascara," this might very well be her best vocal performance on the album.

11. "Best Of Times" - Written with Al Anderson and Leslie Satcher, this song is maybe the deepest socio-political statement on the album. The irony of the lyrics might make you giggle at first – before you realize just how true they might be.

12. "Stay At Home Mother" - On an artistic and personal level, life causes an evolution of sorts. Just like with 'Mascara,' Crow might not have been able to pull this one off fifteen years ago. Vocally, she would have had no problem – but making the track believable would have been the trick. There's an old adage that states "You've got to have lived it to sing it," and these lyrics aren't just words. You get the idea she has walked in these shoes a few times.

Rating: 92 out of 100


Exclaim.ca
By Jason Schneider

There's never been any question about Sheryl Crow's abilities as a singer/songwriter. But what's often overlooked is her savvy knowledge of who her audience is. Her early work was catchy enough to top the pop charts, but still had enough edge and sexiness to be a guilty pleasure for alt-country snobs — it's hard to argue against the near-perfect execution of "If It Makes You Happy." Those fans have aged, along with Crow, who should also be given props for surviving both breast cancer and a disastrous relationship with Lance Armstrong. The image of country music has changed a great deal as well, and while it's easy to say that Feels Like Home is Crow selling out to the new Nashville, even a cursory listen suggests the opposite: that Nashville has conformed to what Crow was doing all along. While hints of fiddle and pedal steel are evident, the foundation of most of the songs is gutsy barroom rock — the natural environment for Crow's golden pipes. She does display a more pronounced twang on "Crazy Ain't Original" and "We Oughtta Be Drinkin'," but it's hardly an affectation — at least compared to one-time duet partner Kid Rock. What Crow conveys on "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely" and especially "Waterproof Mascara" is genuine modern heartbreak. Yes, on the surface Feels Like Home is a makeover aimed at the parents of every Taylor Swift fan, but the essence of Crow's sound remains intact, and irresistible.
(Warner)

7 out of 10


Allmusic.com
By Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Unlike, say, Bon Jovi, it is no great leap for Sheryl Crow to plunge into contemporary country on Feels Like Home. Tuesday Night Music Club, her 1993 debut, could've been called country-rock if it had been released in another era, and she's never shied away from roots music, either giving it a crisp, classy spin or taking a full stylistic detour, as she did on 2010's 100 Miles from Memphis. In some ways, that soul excursion felt like a greater departure for Crow than this 2013 album, as beneath the down-home accouterments of aggressive Telecasters, self-consciously country lyrics, the affected down-home twang in her voice, and the occasional fiddle, Feels Like Home feels like standard-issue Crow, the kind of record that could've been delivered after The Globe Sessions. Indeed, the opener "Shotgun" feels like an inversion of C'Mon C'mon's opener "Steve McQueen," "We Oughta Be Drinkin'" is a slower kissing cousin of "All I Wanna Do," "Easy" rolls along lazily but co-opts some of the clever cultural nods of Sheryl Crow, while "Nobody's Business" and "Best of Times" are cheerful roots-pop tunes that'd feel welcome on any of her albums. Crow runs into trouble when she tries to get a little too country, either by ratcheting up Music City melodrama to a ridiculous scale -- "Give It to Me" is brought down by its escalating synthesized strings, "Waterproof Mascara" by her own vocal histrionics -- or by writing relatable blue-collar vignettes so brimming with clichés they verge on the condescending. All the talk of tight times, downmarket beer, and gossip is targeted at a country audience, but when Crow sings of being poor or white trash, she has none of the authenticity of Kacey Musgraves; she has the air of a tourist -- from her phrasing and her polished accompaniment, it's all too clear that once she stops singing, she will go back to much cozier surroundings. Of course, part of the appeal of Feels Like Home is its show biz panache, how Crow cheerfully adapts to her surroundings and gives the people what she believes they want. That her instincts are often right speaks to her skills; that she veers into accidental condescension suggests this country move may be motivated by finding a new audience, not satisfying her existing one.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5


The Beat Magazine online
By Blair Henatyzen

How do you legitimize an artist known for her top of the chart pop songs in a move to country?

Simple.

You get one of the biggest names in the industry onboard. Sheryl Crow, who has been living in Nashville for the past few years, was spurred (no pun intended) on by her good friend Brad Paisley to foray into country with her latest effort, Feels Like Home.

The most interesting part about the album is that it isn't that much of a departure from what Crowe was already known for. Her previous hits like All I Wanna Do and Leaving Las Vegas arguably had that country feel that could have been passed off for pop-country cross-over today. You can really feel the transition to country, though, with a track called We Oughta Be Drinkin'.

Some nights are made for stayin' at home
Sittin' on the couch, watching TV alone
But tonight, sure feels, like we oughta be drinkin'

What's more country than a bottle of Jack? Seriously, try and answer the question. You can't top that imagery. With her voice gliding effortlessly through the lyrics, accompanied by the classic country twang and whistle, it sounds like she wrote the tune while wearing a pair of faded overalls and riding a tractor.

Nothin' but buckwheat, baby.

Paisley, aside from encouraging her to make the album, also co-wrote Waterproof Mascara. It's about a single mom trying to stay strong for her son. Her soaring voice epitomizes a Bonnie Raitt style ballad while hitting the emotional chin where it hurts. The song, as mentioned earlier, legitimizes the entire experience and proves she can contend in a new genre and reinvent herself.

***Side note, is the song about Shania Twain? Just throwing it out there.

FUN FACT: In an interview with Radio.com she said that the album was recorded on the 2nd floor of a barn, “... [with] horses, cows and chickens living under the recording equipment lent a certain authentic smell to the proceedings...”

I promise you though, none of that stale barn stench comes through the speakers.

3.6 Saddles out of 5.


MusicNewsNashville.com
By Chuck Dauphin

I’ve got to admit, I’ve been looking forward to writing this review for a long time. Beginning back in 2002 with her success on the Country charts with “Picture” and “The First Cut Is The Deepest,” many people have been waiting for an all-Country project from Sheryl Crow. It kind of makes sense. She’s from Kennett, MO after all, and grew up influenced by a lot of the Country sounds of the area. Even going back to her breakthrough Tuesday Night Music Club disc from 1993, there were songs that had a twinge of Country sounds – with “No One Said It Would Be Easy” being a prime example of this.

Well, a decade later, that album is finally here, and the title sums up the music very well. Crow and producer Justin Niebank have come up with a very impressive “debut” record. She kicks things off with the swagger of “Shotgun,” which could have also been a track off her C’mon C’mon disc a few years back – proof that she’s not totally re-inventing the wheel. “Easy,” her current hit single, keeps the tempo going, and is one of the guilty pleasures I have on the radio right now. It’s not going to save the world – it just sounds good. That also goes for the murky and fun “Drinkin,” which she sounds like she is having an absolute blast doing. Again, there’s no heavy handed message here, the song is pretty self-explanatory, and I love the groove of the song. It’s a sing-along, to say the least.

As a songwriter, Crow seems to really dig into her surroundings here, especially on “Crazy Ain’t Original.” In the liner notes for the album, she talks about this track being a tribute to Merle Haggard, but the writing also shows that she listened to a little bit of Waylon Jennings and his self-deprecating humor over the course of time. It’s a track that will make you smile, no doubt.

There are also a trio of ballads on this album that will stop you dead in your tracks. “Give It To Me” is a romantic ballad that has a little bit of a 50s vibe to it, and she sounds absolutely dreamy on the cut. (Yes, I know I used that word….but her vocal is completely sweet and emotional, kind of reminding me of a late 1970s Olivia Newton-John song – an ultimate compliment) “Homecoming Queen” is a well-written story song about realizing that time stops for nobody, and Crow handles it with an amazing amount of vulnerability.

But, the cut that you need to buy this album for is – without a doubt – “Waterproof Mascara.” Written with Brad Paisley and Chris DuBois, this is the song that the doubters need to hear when they question Crow’s Country cred. This is straight-up hillbilly melodrama, straight out of Billy Sherrill’s 1970s playbook on Tammy Wynette, even down to the strings. I would put this song (and her performance) up against anything from that era. You can tell she’s lived the words she’s singing, and she oozes sincerity on every line.

So, Sheryl Crow finally releases a Country album. It proves to be well worth the wait, as she just might have released the most complete disc of her career. You might be a cynic before you listen to the music – but I have a feeling that will change  pretty quickly once you’ve heard the music.

Roughstock.com
By: Matt Bjorke

While Sheryl Crow has scored minor hits on the Country Music radio charts throughout the years, she's never officially released her own single to radio prior to "Easy" and that song is currently Top 20 and rising with sales brisk as well. Fans of earlier Sheryl Crow will find songs like "Shotgun" and "Drinking" not out of bound with what they've come to know from the star and that could be said about "Easy" too. In reality, Sheryl Crow's sound hasn't changed all that much but instead she's just incorporated a slightly 'rootsier' sound than on her big albums like C'mon C'mon and The Globe Sessions or Tuesday Night Music Club. That being said, the core of the songs on Feels Like Home are right in the pocket of what is often heard on Mainstream Country radio these days.

This isn't to say that Sheryl doesn't sing a few songs that are downright traditional on the record. These songs include, "Homecoming Queen," "Waterproof Mascara," a song she wrote with Brad Paisley -- he brought the idea to the writing session -- and it's a stone Country power ballad that one can easily being performed by any of Country Music's top female vocalists through the years from Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Reba, Patty Loveless and Carrie Underwood. It's that good and Sheryl's vocal is simply beautiful. Finally, "Stay At Home Mother" is a song that any mother can relate to but especially for anyone who has to leave their children behind to go work for days at a time. It's sweet, heartfelt and clearly Feels Like Home's best songs.

Other standouts on the record include "Best Of Times," "Calling Me When I'm Lonely" -- with a ready-ready steel guitar drenched chorus, "Crazy Ain't Original" a song which could be a standout radio hit, perhaps after "Easy" runs its course on the charts. "Homesick" -- written with Chris Stapleton -- is a song that turns the "Homesick" phrase around and makes it showcase for someone who doesn't want to be home alone, "a place that's not about comfort but what about what used to be."

Feels Like Home is varied with strong melodies and everything most people have grown to love about Sheryl Crow's music. She is distinctly herself and the fact that her music is now called Country isn't any different than Darius Rucker's 'crossover' to Country. If Feels Like Home proves anything it's that she's genuinely making the move to Country and that's all that the gatekeepers at radio and longtime fans of the genre want out of their artists, a commitment to making great music and Feels Like Home is definitely that.

4 stars out 5


American Songwriter
By Jim Beviglia

The cynical response that comes to the fore when an established pop/rock artist like Sheryl Crow makes a country album is that it’s a ploy intended to prop up a flagging career. When the hits get fewer and farther between, you just head to Nashville, ladle on the strings and pedal steel, and you’ve got yourself a brand new audience ready to lap it all up, as if it were that easy.

While one would have to be inside the head of Sheryl Crow to determine exactly what her motives were in releasing Feels Like Home, the evidence on the disc suggests that this was a natural progression for Crow’s music rather than a mercenary one. This foray into country music is smooth, polished, and well-executed, with a few standout moments that suggest that this talented songwriter and performer might have been still a star even if C&W got her before pop radio did.

Looking back on Crow’s catalog, it’s not surprising that she can make the transition. Hits like “All I Wanna Do” and “Leaving Las Vegas” may have been more loose-limbed musically than your typical Nashville groove, but the detail-heavy lyrics were right from the country playbook. Feels Like Home might have in-your-face hooks (especially on the up-tempo numbers) and gleaming production, but the frank, honest storytelling and emotional punch of the songs, courtesy of Crow and a bunch of ace collaborators, are what lingers.

The album also highlights what an outstanding singer Crow is. She nimbly handles the frank come-ons of “Shotgun” and “Easy” and finds the tenderness in quiet character sketches like “Stay At Home Mother” and “Homecoming Queen.” She really goes to town on the soulful “Give It To Me,” a direct plea to a reticent lover that allows her to project power and vulnerability all at once.

Feels Like Home goes astray only at the times when it seems like it’s too eager to court hard-core country fans. “We Oughta Be Drinkin’” overplays its raucous nature, while the tough-talking social commentary found on “Crazy Ain’t Original These Days” and “Best Of Times” is strained at best.

The album is at its best when it sticks to the timeless stuff about love and loss. On “Homesick,” the ghosts of a departed lover make the narrator long for life on the road; it’s got the kind of stirring heartbreak that can be found on some of Bonnie Raitt’s late-period ballads. “Waterproof Mascara,” co-written with Brad Paisley, is a classic country tear-jerker about a single Mom trying to stay strong for her son. With the killer refrain “Thank God they make waterproof mascara/’Cause it won’t run like his Daddy did,” it’s the kind of thing that Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton would have knocked out of the park in the day. Comparisons aside, Crow makes these songs all her own.

Considering how comfortable she seems in this new setting, Feels Like Home is an appropriate title. Commercial success will probably determine whether country music is a pit stop or a destination for Sheryl Crow. The genre switch has paid artistic dividends already.

3 1/2 stars out of 5


Rolling Stone
By Will Ermes

Sheryl Crow is nothing if not versatile: A former Michael Jackson backup singer who mixes pop, country, R&B and classic rock, she's built a career as an outspoken singer-songwriter and a Grammy-friendly go-to collaborator. Her eight LP digs deeper into country tradition than she's ever gone before. The Results are uneven, but never feel forced or faked. The ultimaete tylist diplomat, Crow makes every twang her own. It helps to have major Nashville songwriter firepower: Luke Laird, Brad Paisley, Shane McAnally and Chris DuBois help Crow serve a half-century's worth of styles without sounding like a history teacher- The lushly orchestrated, tear-jerking Paisley-co-write "Waterproof Mascara" and the Loretta Lynn/Bobby Centry-style "Drinking" (about getting shitfaced on a Wednesday night, instead of rolling "a big fat one and watchin' Nashville alone") update vintage countrypolitcan and honky-tonk sounds- "Shotgun" and "Easy" are smart, airbrushed '00s mainstream contenders in the spirit of Miranda Lambert and country's tough new radio sweethearts. Crow still sounds most at home on the rockers - especially the steel-laced "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely" and the Bad Company bow "Nobody's Business". But this set suggests the Opry crowd might want to keep her on speed dial.

3 1/2 stars out of 4