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SHERYL CROW Hits and Rarities A&M (2007)

Sheryl Crow

There appears to be a trend at the moment to duplicate earlier best of releases, bolstering the reissue with some bonus DVD or CD.

This is exactly what has happened here, so we get a run-through of Crow's greatest hits and then the extra disc features previously unreleased live versions including several from the 'Live at the Budokan' gig in 2003. The 2002 'B' side 'Chances Are' is particularly good.

And as with many a 'best of' that smacks of 'cash-in' there is scant detail and no liner note to appraise the uninitiated.

The main difference between this and 2003's 'The Very Best Of' is the inclusion of the Guns n Roses cover 'Sweet Child of Mine', the superb 'Try Not To Remember', and the ill-judged Bond theme 'Tomorrow Never Dies' (all originally on soundtracks), and the story is updated with the inclusion of the title track from 2005's mellower 'Wildflower' and there's a duet with Sting (Always On Your Side).

It is sometimes difficult to know whether Crow is a rocker at heart or more comfortable with the country-tinged and pop rock tunes that have permeated her albums since 1993's debut 'Tuesday Night Music Club'. When she rocks - as on 'My Favourite Mistake' or the live version of 'You're An Original' - she sounds convincing. But in truth it is this dichotomy on the albums that can alienate the listener, especially when they like the country pop rock gal but not the harder rock chick - or vice versa.

This album's release is something of a stop-gap before the next album scheduled for early-2008 and only made palatable with the inclusion of that bonus disc. As with Crow's plea for us to use less toilet paper, caution advised.


Review by David Randall

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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