I wish women singer-songwriters let themselves be fast, funny, and funky more often, and that might explain why Sheryl Crow makes me wince less than any other female folkie out there right now. She's upscale, up-to-date, and down-to-earth, she's got a headful of ideas driving her insane, and her sense of rhythm is as underappreciated as her sense of humor. She talks her lyrics as propulsively as she sings them, and the handclaps and boom-baps of her organic-and-synthetic rhythm section do not let her down. ''This ain't no disco,'' she admitted in her biggest hit ''All I Wanna Do,'' but she's still one of the most dance-music­influenced chirpers ever. She used to provide studio and songwriting assistance to Michael Jackson and Lisa Lisa, as well as AOR and c&w stars, and her big ballad ''Strong Enough'' even inspired a Keta-Men club remake where they asked if I was hard, long, and strong enough... More >>>