[HOT TRACK]Crow's latest goes on and on

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[HOT TRACK]Crow's latest goes on and on

Sheryl Crow has made a name for herself making no-nonsense rock-pop records. That's why her long-awaited fourth studio album, "C'mon C'mon," released last Tuesday, attracts such high expectations.

Crow began her career in the 1980s as a backing vocalist, attending as many rock festivals as possible.

Her hard work paid off and she finally broke through in the early 1990s, largely on the success of the single "All I Wanna Do," winning several Grammys.

But that single was perhaps the most atypical in her repertoire. Over the next few years, she cemented her reputation for catchy, light-rock songwriting.

At 39, Crow is still looking good (her well-aerobicized body is displayed in the liner notes). But Crow is not about the look: She's about the music.

The new album sports 14 tracks, most of them at least passable, although there are no hooks as strong as "All I Wanna Do." Instead, she concentrates on many collaborations on "C'mon, C'mon," including with Lenny Kravitz, Don Henry and Emmylou Harris.

Crow even tries to present a variety of musical styles, branching out to country more than once.

Her efforts to come up with something new are laudable, but unfortunately on this album she did not quite pull it off.

The album starts off strongly, with the fast and powerful "Steve McQueen," and continues well with the first single, "Soak Up the Sun." On the third track, Kravitz sings "You're an Original," also a solid song.

But after that, the sound gets wearisome and unmemorable. In an array of tracks, such as "It's So Easy" and "It's Only Love," Crow drones on, sounding awkwardly frail then unnecessarily strong.

By the last track, "Missing," the listener gets a sense of what is really missing in the album ?the simple, passionate style that Crow displayed in previous releases.

There are a few other notable songs on the album. "Diamond Road" and "Over You" are well-written, and their strong melodies overcome Crow's strangely lethargic singing style.

Crow, after all, sounds best when she has "some fun until the sun comes up on the Santa Monica Boulevard," rather than constantly trying to project the tedious image of a tough female rocker.

Perhaps next time she'll remember what she wants to do.

by Chun Su-jin

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