July closes on a low-key note, but one of the Buzz’s favorite gals is back with a deeply personal new album, and that alone is cause for celebration. Take a look:


She went on a political rampage on her last album, 2008’s painfully uneven Detours, but for her seventh studio set, 100 Miles from Memphis, the staggeringly talented Sheryl Crow pulls it back toward the personal by paying tribute to the Tennessee soul that so permeated the music of her youth. The cameos here are impressive: The Rolling Stones’ legendary guitarist Keith Richards lends a few licks to the album track “Eye to Eye,” and Memphis native son Justin Timberlake helps Crow deliver a genre-busting cover of Terence Trent D’arby’s forgotten 1988 smash “Sign Your Name.” Crow closes the album with a mellow, must-hear take on The Jackson 5’s classic touchstone “I Want You Back,” which stands as moving and as powerful a tribute to Michael’s legacy as any other I could conjure.

Also noteworthy this week:


  • Grammy-winning musician Marc Cohn also flashes back to his youth, covering the likes of Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Paul McCartney on his latest album, Listening Booth: 1970.

  • She has mellowed considerably since the days of her frightening 1996 smash “Mother, Mother,” but Tracy Bonham is still making music, and her latest record is entitled Masts of Manhatta.

  • If you missed the electrifying Tori Amos on last week’s episode of PBS’ terrific music series Live from the Artists’ Den, you can pick up a copy of the concert — complete with bonus performances not shown on air — exclusively at Barnes and Noble.

  • Speaking of Artists’ Den, this week’s guest is the inimitable David Gray, and “A Moment Changes Everything” — the shuffling, superb lead single from his forthcoming album, Foundling (due in stores August 17) — just went up at A.

  • Also just up at Run: the monumentally masterful mash-up of Jay-Z and Rihanna‘s “Run This Town” and E.S. Posthumus‘ instrumental piece “Posthumus Zone” — better known as the main theme song for CBS’ coverage of NFL Football — which aired just prior to Super Bowl 44 last February.

  • The Jonas Brothers are back with Jonas L.A., a soundtrack for their identically-titled television series.

  • That oddball electronica outfit Zero 7 steps up with Record, a retrospective featuring hits and highlights from their four studio albums.
  • Finally, my good pal Matt Cameron — who records music as a one-man band name of eating alone — takes a huge leap forward in his career this week with the release of his formal debut, The Long Haul, which is available on Amazon as well as on The. (You can check out lots more of Matt’s experimental, moody music at his website, and it’s well worth a looksee, if I do say so myself.)

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