Sheryl Crow|Lonestar

Sheryl Crow left Las Vegas, but have the '90s given us a better recidivist than her? The singer's new, surprisingly great Greatest Hits is a virtual treatise on shining up shit--on turning the shallow and tawdry and questionably legal into little three-minute packets of abandon I'd pump my quarters into till they're gone. The track listing lays the story out for all to see: "All I Wanna Do" is "Soak Up the Sun," Sheryl admits, so she heads to Sin City, where she makes "My Favorite Mistake" (pick whichever you like) and realizes, inevitably, that "The First Cut Is the Deepest." So she tells her man she's "Leaving Las Vegas"; she's "Strong Enough" to hit the interstate, where 20 miles out an all-night buffet reminds her of "The Light in Your Eyes." Damn, she thinks, over a plate of Jell-O with chunks of pineapple in it. "If It Makes You Happy," what's she doing leaving it? Luckily for Sheryl, though "A Change Would Do You Good," "Everyday Is a Winding Road" that leads back "Home."

I'm not sure if Lonestar's own recent hits collection tells as nifty a story (that's probably the "Tequila Talkin'"), but it does certainly tell us that if you blow-dry your hair and indulge in a lot of clichés about women, you can "Tell Her" you sold as many records as Ms. Crow. She'll be "Amazed," note that "Everything's Changed" and promise that "Not a Day Goes By" that she doesn't kiss the heated marble floor beneath her feet. For an encore you'll do a shitty version of "Walking in Memphis" and shave your chest. "Smile!"

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Mikael Wood