i'm hopeful for the next sheryl album. i've loved her work since she started (i still remember buying her first album on tape and seeing the video for "strong enough" on mtv in romania back in the day...), but her recent output has been so disappointing.
The first three albums were awesome, but then C'mon C'mon was a bit too Sheryl-by-numbers and had no real power behind it. Yes, there were some great songs (Weather Channel, Safe & Sound, It's Only Love), and most of them are quite enjoyable, but putting the disc on just makes me want to listen to one of the first three instead. Then the Greatest Hits came out, with a massively flawed track-listing (no Hard To Make A Stand, no Anything But Down, no Tomorrow Never Dies...) AND, it had 2 versions of that slightly ropey cover of First Cut Is The Deepest, which sounded almost identical. Having said that, it did have the pleasant new song Light in Your Eyes on there so it wasn't all bad.
Then came Wildflower which I thought was the biggest disappointment yet. Sheryl's high-pitched vocals aren't nearly as interesting as the lower range she uses on all her other albums, and the whole album was a bit of a snoozefest. One of the best songs (Chances Are) was just an old b-side, and the other best song got raped by Sting when she released it as a single. Sooo much better as a solo song.
So if Sheryl's working with Bill Bottrell again and has dropped the country vibe that's fine by me, none of her material has been disastrous yet, it just seems the last two were pretty uninspired.