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Picks and Pans Review: Tuesday Night Music Club

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Sheryl Crow

In 1986, Crow quit her job as a grade school music teacher in St. Louis and moved to Los Angeles, determined to make it in the pop music business. She has since sung background for Michael Jackson and George Harrison and has had her songs recorded by Eric Clapton and Wynona Judd, among others. But it’s Crow’s catchy first album that proves incontrovertibly that she made the right move.

This collection of intelligent songs, delivered in a dusky, penetrating voice, represents the most arresting debut by a female singer-songwriter since Rickie Lee Jones in 1979. From “Leaving Las Vegas,” a disillusioned, neon-dazzled desert tune, to the soigné blues of “We Do What We Can,” this album is stocked with keepers. This former teacher is a rare bird who deserves to go right to the head of a very different music class. (A&M)