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Released: February 5, 2008

Rating: 3.805 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: pop/rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. God Bless This Mess
  2. Shine Over Babylon
  3. Love Is Free
  4. Peace Be Upon Us
  5. Gasoline
  6. Out of Our Heads
  7. Detours
  8. Now That You’re Gone
  9. Drunk with the Thought of You
  10. Diamond Ring
  11. Motivation
  12. Make It Go Away (Radiation Song)
  13. Love Is All There Is
  14. Lullaby for Wyatt

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.40
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. 0.025
sales worldwide - estimated 0.69


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 2
peak on U.K. album chart 20

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Shine Over Babylon (11/07) –
  • Love Is Free (1/17/08) #77 US
  • Now That You’re Gone (4/3/08) –
  • Out of Our Heads (6/17/08) --

Sheryl Crow
“Nothing puts life in perspective like a brush with death, and that truism is brought into blazing relief on Sheryl Crow’s sixth album, Detours. Crow survived a battle with breast cancer in February 2006. Around that same time, she separated from fiancé Lance Armstrong and, roughly a year later, she adopted a son. That’s a decade’s worth of life packed into two years, but these highs and lows – or Detours as she calls them – have led Crow to produce her liveliest, weirdest album since 1996’s messy masterpiece Sheryl Crow.” STE

“Ever since that album her records grew increasingly mannered, as she whittled away her eccentricities. All those eccentricities return on Detours, partially due to that tidal wave of life events, but also to the revival of her relationship with producer Bill Bottrell, the man who helmed Tuesday Night Music Club. Bottrell and Crow had an acrimonious split during the making of the second album…No producer let her be as loose or revealing as Bottrell, as he helped give her pop tunes odd, distinguishing touches and kept her ballads spare and haunting.” STE

“There’s not a groan-worthy song on this standout rock/pop/folk/blues album. If the themes are heavy…the mood is cathartic, determined, hopeful at times and sad at others.” TL

The “first half contains Crow’s most compelling music in years. Much of this is explicitly political – references to war, petroleum, and New Orleans all run rampant – but compared to her sometimes didactic public speeches, her socially conscious writing is surprising, filled with odd juxtapositions and sly jokes. That sense of humor alone is a relief, but it’s married to music that’s restless.” STE

Peace Be Upon Us picks apart pettiness and arrives at a wide-minded beauty” TL, all while “encompassing…worldbeat textures…[and] featuring Ahmed Al Himi on backing vocals)” STE

Gasoline is “catchy but thought-provoking,” TL featuring a “sultry ‘70s Stones swagger.” STE

“The quiet, faraway-sounding opener God Bless This Mess [is] a novel in a song.” TL

“The first single is a folk-rock anthem, Shine Over Babylon. Crow told Billboard in the summer of 2007 that the song ‘is very environmentally conscious, in the tradition of Bob Dylan.’ The single ended up being a radio airplay release only.” WK

Love Is Free, with its “lopsided shuffle,” STE “was confirmed to be the second single from the album, to be released in early 2008: ‘I’m really encouraging artists to write about what’s going on, because we seem to be very distracted by some lightweight topics. I think it’s time to start writing about the reality of what’s around us.’” WK “On her Web site, Crow describes the single as ‘an every way a desperate cry for understanding. Perhaps it is even a battle song in the face of fear.’” WK She also said the song was ‘inspired by New Orleans. What struck me about it is the stoicism of the New Orleans people, they are very spiritually based. You can see it in their eyes that they aren’t going to give up, they are going to rebuild.’” WK

“The album slows down a bit too much on its second stretch” STE although there are “individual moments [that] work according to their own merits” STE such as the “unadorned confessionals of broken engagements (Diamond Ring), cancer (Make It Go Away [Radiation Song]), and adoption (Lullaby for Wyatt),” STE “an almost painfully tender lullaby.” TL

Now That You’re Gone grabs at clarity through the clouds of a devastating love affair and gets it.” TL

“George Harrison seems present in some of these songs, especially the more personal ones (Drunk with the Thought of You, Love Is All There Is). And that may be the highest compliment that Sheryl Crow, who seems to admire his gentle soul and shares his big heart, could ask for.” TL

“Crow hasn’t been this free or fine since Sheryl Crow, but there is an emotional directness on Detours that makes this a progression, not a retreat, and with any luck, this album isn’t a one-time journey down a side road but rather the touchstone for the next act in her career.” STE

Review Sources:

Related DMDB Links:

previous studio album: Wildflower (2005) Sheryl Crow’s DMDB page next studio album: 100 Miles from Memphis (2010)

Shine Over Babylon (video)

Love Is Free (video)

Now That You’re Gone (video)

Out of Our Heads (video)

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Last updated July 20, 2010.