N.B. This image is a screengrab from the video. We didn’t put it together ourselves. Someone got paid for it. Yup.
Rebecca A. Gowns: An anthem for a white liberal woman, living several hours outside of Los Angeles in a semi-rural suburb. She shares Facebook posts about peace, tolerance, and yoga. She thinks it would be great if everyone just got along. She holds onto her Volt and Levi’s as if they were signifiers of being down-to-earth; she takes mountain hikes on Tuesday mornings and wonders where everyone else is. I think she could reach an understanding with the guy in the Hummer more easily than (for instance) a leftist protestor could reach an understanding with a neo-Nazi, which appears to be the more pressing dichotomy we’re dealing with today. In light of current events, this song’s concept of “reaching across the aisle” is almost adorably quaint, an out-of-touch product of the ’90s and commercial folk-rock. My mom will love it.
Will Adams: The bustling stomp, complete with metric shift for the chorus, is beguiling. The weak-sauce Kumbaya message, less so.
Alfred Soto: A Hummer, a Volt, and an Armani three-piece — Sheryl Crow presents her application for a celebrity endorsement. The track does kick up a fair amount of guitar racket, much more so than any single she’s released since The Globe Sessions almost twenty years ago. She’s less compelling when relying on her high end — save it for the testimonials.
Edward Okulicz: I rinsed The Globe Sessions back in the day, so any score less than average is a betrayal of my teenage self. I do wonder if this isn’t at least a lyrical betrayal of 90s Crow though, because while this is the same appealingly bluesy-pop of her late 90s peak, this Crow is meek.
Maxwell Cavaseno: You couldn’t see yourself really going out of your way to hate the person who wrote “My Favorite Mistake” or “All I Wanna Do,” now, could you? But at the same time, the flaw’s there in one of her other big hits: “If It Makes You Happy”. The sense of compromise, agree to disagree, and indeed the idea that some inexplicable opposition ‘can’t be that bad’ is hippie-ish to a fault: a nice idea, but utterly unable to address the fact that Crow doesn’t agree, and in many ways wants to be kept away, unconcerned and unbothered by things. Someone this eager to please, with no sense of self, and not enough respect to confront an issue in someone else… perhaps, Crow is much more of a jellyfish.
Katie Gill: Considering the current political climate, I can’t decide whether this ‘agree to disagree, meet me halfway there’ rhetoric is optimistic, naive, or downright lazy. At least this is a halfway decent rock song with a wonderful return to “Soak Up the Sun”‘s slightly granola tendencies. That’s something I didn’t know I missed.
Katherine St Asaph: Halfway between scuzzy folk-rock of the kind that’s missed, at least by me, and a Medium tract about sympathy for Trump voters.
Thomas Inskeep: She drives a Volt, he drives a Hummer, and from there we’re off to the races, and it’s basically “What Are We Doin’ In Love” all over again. Only Sheryl’s lyrics are a bit too cute-cum-“thoughtful” by half, and instead of asking what’s happening, she asks you to meet her “Halfway There.” That said, I like the horns and prominent tambourine on this, not to mention the surprisingly greasy (and too short) guitar solo by Gary Clark, Jr. Jeff Trott’s production is quite becoming, too. This isn’t quite up to the standards of, say, Bonnie Raitt, but it’s — well, you know.