The sophomore slump may be a killer for musicians who’ve had a hit, but the third time out shows what they’re made of. After the spectacular success of Sheryl Crow’s first two platinum-selling releases, The Globe Sessions showcases a less radio-friendly but more musically mature sound: introspective and bluesy, with rawer, heavier guitars and some of the most emotional and nuanced singing of Crow’s career. “My Favorite Mistake,” the radio hit, sets a heartsick blue-eyed soul shuffle over lush Hammond B3 organ; “There Goes the Neighborhood” kicks off with discofied handclaps before morphing into a late-Stones rocker, complete with sultry alto sax. “Am I Getting Through” is a downbeat, vaguely psychedelic ballad before it goes literally off the hook, a hung-up, beeping phone signaling the song’s transition to jittery, over-caffeinated hard rock. Add in the giddy power-chord chorus of “Anything But Down,” the lovely, brooding, and Celtic-flavored “Riverwide,” and “Mississippi,” a well-chosen Dylan cover, and it’s clear Crow’s willingness to experiment can pay off. The unquestioned highlight here, though, is “The Difficult Kind,” one of the all-time great break-up ballads, spiked with both bitter remorse and the knowledge that remorse makes no difference in the end: “There ain’t nothing like regret/ To remind you you’re alive.” The Globe Sessions is the sound of an artist making music for herself, unafraid to show her vulnerability or her strengths.