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Wildflower (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

Originally, Sheryl Crow planned to have her follow-up to 2002's Top Ten hit C'mon, C'mon be two simultaneously released albums, announcing their autumn release at the beginning of 2005, but by the time the fall rolled around, the project had been scaled back to a single album: Wildflower. If C'mon, C'mon was a cheerful, bright record ideal for sunny summer days, Wildflower is its opposite, a warm, introspective record that's tailored for the fall. It's not dissimilar to 1998's The Globe Sessions, which felt like a somber hangover to the wonderfully weird party of her eponymous 1996 second album, but where The Globe Sessions had a weary, heartbroken feel, there's a comfortable, lived-in atmosphere and sense of genuine affection on Wildflower. Celebrity press and pre-release hype attributed this love-mad vibe to Crow's romance with cyclist Lance Armstrong — the couple announced its engagement the same month Wildflower was released — and there surely must be some sort of correlation between Crow's personal life and work, but anybody looking for an album explicitly about her relationship with Lance (the way that, say, Eric Benet's Hurricane is all about his divorce from Halle Berry) will be disappointed. There are certainly plenty of songs about love here, but Crow's songs are not about specific events (unless they're neo-protest songs like the lively "Live It Up"). They're open-ended, so it's easy to hear the record and never think about Armstrong. As a matter of fact, the subjects of the songs matter less than the feel of the album. It's easy to spin Wildflower a couple of times before the songs start to sink in — unlike her other records, there's nothing here that immediately grabs your attention, they're all growers — but the mood of the record is immediately appealing. That sustained warm, burnished, relaxed feel — at once rootsy and upscale, modest and classy — is reason enough to return to Wildflower to give the songs a chance to take root, and once they do, the album seems to be one of her most consistent records and one of her best. [A&M issued a second deluxe edition in 2006.]

Customer Reviews

Great album, but why double release?

This album is one of Sheryl Crow's strongest to date. With some perfectly crafted songs, like "Good Is Good", "Where Has All The Love Gone" and "Always On Your Side", this deluxe edition is the one to get: featuring a couple extra acoustic tracks and the essential Sting & Sheryl Crow duet on "Always On Your Side" which takes a beautiful song to another level. I bought the original album on iTunes when it came out last year, so I'm a little confused why this edition has subsequently been released. Are you expected to buy the whole album again, just for the extras? In which case, I'd recommend the physical CD which comes with a bonus DVD including live studio performances of many more songs.

Don't Be Bummed

This album didn't do very well commercially, thus this "deluxe" edition. Fans who missed out on these few tracks shouldn't take it personally. I did not like this album at all when I first heard it. Working at Starbucks, we played this album for a month and it really grew on me. The review is very true. None of these songs stick at first listen, but they're like a virus. It gets in, and eventually it's hard to cure. They really are quite infectious tracks. I do miss the absence of tracks with upbeat jams going on like "Soak up The Sun" or "Every Day Is A Winding Road" or "All I Wanna Do." These are more serious in mood, but still fanastic. Next time around, I hope for another speeding down the highway sing along song like "Steve McQueen."

Well that stinks

What about those of us that have previously purchased the regular edition? The extra songs aren't available for PURCHASE individually! Guess where I have to go now?


Born: February 11, 1962 in Kennett, MO

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sheryl Crow's fresh, updated spin on classic roots rock made her one of the most popular mainstream rockers of the '90s. Her albums were loose and eclectic on the surface, yet were generally tied together by polished, professional songcraft. Crow's sunny, good-time rockers and world-weary ballads were radio staples for much of the '90s, and she was a perennial favorite at Grammy time. Although her songwriting style was firmly anchored to the rock tradition, she wasn't a slave to it -- her free-associative,...
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