Sheryl Crow and St. Vincent Are Anti-Bastard on "Wouldn't Want to Be Like You"

Annie Clark's style works well behind Crow's half-rapped verses. You'll just have to set aside your hope for a more obtuse St. Vincent for a while.

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Jun 26 2018, 10:27am

L: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
R: Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

You should spend some time this summer listening back to Sheryl Crow's first couple of records. Tuesday Night Music Club was a brilliant fusion of mainstream pop melodies and country-rock ideals, and the self-titled follow-up worked soft hip-hop touches into that mix, spawning a handful of huge hits in the process. It'll feel familiar not just because those songs were ubiquitous through the '90s, but because their influence is filtering back through the charts right now—Taylor Swift's best moments and Kacey Musgraves's pop shifts can all be traced back to Sheryl Crow eventually. And, if nothing else, going back through those records will give you an excuse to hear "If It Makes You Happy" over and over and over again.

Crow released a new single yesterday. It's called "Wouldn't Want to Be Like You," it features St. Vincent under her birth name Annie Clark, and it's an anti-corruption, state-of-the-union, half-rapped pop track. Clark's presence is clear in the staccato verses and the dramatic backing vocals, though that won't help anyone who's bummed out by her move towards the mainstream. Instead, those people will have to console themselves with this: Sheryl Crow and St. Vincent have a new single together, and it's all about mega-rich assholes going to jail. It's a win. Take it.

Billboard got a quote from Crow about the song's inception, and I believe every word of it. "I called her and said, 'I am dying to have you bring your St. Vincent-ness to this.' And I said, 'You will not hurt my feelings if you don't like the song,'" Crow recalled. "And I sent it to her, and her response was, 'Fuck yeah.' That was a direct quote, as only Annie Clark can respond, which I loved. She did all kinds of stuff on it, and we pretty much used all of it."

Listen to "Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" below.

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