Sheryl Crow Challenges The Future Of Artificial Intelligence In Just-Released Track, ‘Evolution’

The new song touches on the anxiety and fear surrounding the future of this technological advancement.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 12, 2024

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Nine-time GRAMMY® AWARD winner Sheryl Crow has released the title track to her upcoming 11th full-length studio album, Evolution, set to arrive this spring. 

What Is The Inspiration Behind The Song?

Produced by Mike Elizondo, the new tune takes a futuristic approach as Crow dives into the new world of artificial intelligence and its impact on humankind and the world in general. Being a mom to her two sons, Wyatt Steven Crow and Levi James Crow, the 2023 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee has started to look at the future in a different light, and all the new advances that are constantly being introduced. This leaves her to wonder what kind of world her sons will live in when they get older. 

A.I. is a major advancement that has become increasingly popular in recent years, thus leaving users with plenty of uncertainty surrounding what the technology that mimics human intelligence is capable of. Feeling inspired by this collective feeling of uneasiness, Crow started putting her thoughts into lyrics and ended up writing “Evolution” on her own with just her guitar. 

“Stephen Hawking worried that A.I. would replace humans. As a mom, I want to leave a better world for my children, a healthier planet – is A.I. going to be a benevolent partner in these goals or not? It’s unsettling, and this song deals with those anxieties,” Crow said in a statement via press release. 

After working up a demo, Crow sent the song to her producer Elizondo saying, “This is bigger than me, can you take a crack at it?” She went on to say that with his help, the mid-tempo tune was cascaded into a “new sonic terrorist,” giving it a “cinematic sound” featuring epic riffs from Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

“To me, his playing comes from some other planet. It’s a cool bit of kismet that we were both inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year. His solo on ‘Evolution’ just ejects you into space,” Crow said of Morello’s talent.  

She opens the song by describing A.I.’s ability to nearly clone someone’s tone, pitch and vocal stylings just by using voice samples. While an incredibly intelligent skill for a computer, there’s no telling how this could affect the music industry one day.  

“Turned on the radio and there it was/ A song that sounded like something I wrote/ The voice and melody were hauntingly/ So familiar that I thought it was a joke,” Crow delivers on the opening verse. 

As the “Soak Up The Sun” artist continues into the chorus and beyond, she stresses the aspects of humankind that cannot be replicated by any computer, such as the abilities to “create,” “destroy,” “feel pain,” and “feel joy.”

She sings, “Evolution ever-changing/ Lost in space and time/ Maybe there’s a grand solution/ Somewhere we will find/ Deep in the heart of humankind.”

Listen

YouTube video

The upcoming album of the same name is produced by Mike Elizondo and will feature nine new songs. Fans will be able to hear the entire collection when it drops March 29, 2024 via The Valory Music Group. 

Evolution is available for pre-order HERE

“Evolution” Tracklist:

  1. Alarm Clock
  2. Do It Again
  3. Love Life
  4. You Can’t Change The Weather
  5. Evolution
  6. Where
  7. Don’t Walk Away
  8. Broken Record
  9. Waiting In The Wings
  10. Digging In The Dirt (Digital Deluxe Only)

Sheryl Crow has been tapped to serve as a special guest on the rock-influenced pop star Pink’s 2024 Summer Carnival tour. The North American trek is scheduled to launch August 10 in St. Louis, MO at The Dome at America’s Center and continue through November 23.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.