Sheryl Crow Found Writing Country Songs to Be a “Challenge”

Switches up her process for first country album.

It’s probably stating the obvious, but Sheryl Crow is no slouch in the songwriting department. The rock/pop megastar has scored huge hits with self-penned songs like “If It Makes You Happy” and “All I Wanna Do,” among many others.

But her foray into making her first country album, Feels Like Home, presented a whole new set of songwriting challenges.

“Because I produced myself for most of those [pop] records, I was left to my own devices as far as letting some things slide lyrically,” says Sheryl, who recorded much of Feels Like Home at the studio located above the horse barn on her Nashville property. “There’s none of that in country songwriting where you leave anything up to the imagination. Like any kind of [experimental alternative artist] Beck song, we all love it, but sometimes you have no idea what it’s about. The country format does not operate on that.”

So what did Sheryl have to change in her songwriting for country music? “It’s very first person. Every line has a point or has meaning, something that’s clear,” she explains. “It was a great challenge for me, and one that I feel like has given me a whole new energy as far as my career goes. I’ve been doing it for 25 years and able to say I’m still excited and my best songwriting is on this record and I’m still learning and I’m still challenged.”

Find out more about Sheryl’s country album and her life with sons Wyatt and Levi in the Sept. 23 issue of Country Weekly, on stands now.

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