What's so bad about Sheryl Crow? True, "All I Wanna Do," from Crow's 1993 album Tuesday Night Music Club, has joined the ranks of "Love Shack" as a song that will probably still sound overplayed 100 years from now. But "Leaving Las Vegas" showed that Crow had a gift for atmosphere, and both "Every Day Is A Winding Road" and "If It Makes You Happy," from her self-titled 1996 follow-up, did a fine job of slowly rocking. Despite its desperately serious title, The Globe Sessions should help lay to rest any doubts concerning Crow's talent. A self-produced, remarkably consistent album, The Globe Sessions brings out the potential that has always been evident in her music. As a singer, Crow has a powerful voice and knows how to stop short of overdoing it. As a songwriter, she has an ear for a catchy melody that puts that voice to good use, and this album finds the two talents combining fruitfully. Globe's first single, "My Favorite Mistake," is a good example, but the album isn't short of them: "Anything But Down" and the lush "Riverwide" are fine heartbreak songs that help set the album's generally melancholy mood. Sonically, Crow finds middle ground between the raw and the overproduced, creating an album that, though it doesn't hide its drum machines and studio tricks, still comes from a far gutsier tradition than usually associated with Michael Jackson's former backup singers. Throughout The Globe Sessions, Crow sounds like a slicker, more commercial version of Lucinda Williams, and there are far, far worse things to be. While the very thing that keeps her records selling may also prevent her from reaching Williams' brilliant heights, Crow's presence will always be welcome, as long as she occupies the territory she's staked out for herself as assuredly as she does here.