A&M Records – 2005 – 54 minutes

Sheryl Crow's sixth studio album is a more introspective, personal offering than her previous albums and it's this factor that makes 'Wildflower' really shine.

Opening with the melodic 'I Know Why', it becomes clear that Crow's voice has lost much of its rock edge, which adds to the quality of her singing. She is easier on the ear than she was, her voice having acquired a breathy quality that's quite nice to listen to.

The songs have taken on a more personal quality than those of Crow's earlier career. Her focus is aimed at matters of the heart for a large chunk of this collection. 'I Know Why', 'Perfect Lie' and 'Lifetimes' see her chronicling the ups and downs of love.

Other songs on 'Wildflower' examine important social issues. Out of these tracks, 'I Don't Wanna Know' is the strongest, 'Letter to God' and 'Where Has All the Love Gone' being a little mawkish. Crow fares better when she turns her focus inward here.

'Wildflower' sees Sheryl Crow softening her edge and turning the spotlight more on herself. It's a good move, and should see her adding to the legions of fans she already has.

Katie Moten

Tracklisting: I Know Why – Perfect Lie – Good is Good – Chances Are –Wildflower – Lifetimes – Letter To God – Live It Up – I Don't Wanna Know – Always On Your Side – Where Has All The Love Gone – Wildflower (acoustic) – Where Has All The Love Gone (acoustic)