Don't listen to the hype. For such a great band expectations are very high but regrettably this album is at best mediocre. I'm sad to say it but this is one of their least accomplished albums- where are the hooks and gemlike songcraft of yesteryear? It's not that the album is bad, it's just that it's simply unremarkable. I think the real acid test is to ask yourself- would any of these tracks get on to your personal 'Best of Counting Crows' playlist? I'm not sure I would add any to my favourites.
[My favourite CC tracks in no particular order: Round Here, Mrs Potter's Lullaby, Butterfly in Reverse, Amy Hit The Atmosphere, Miami, Omaha, A Long December, Hangin' Around, American Girls, Mr. Jones, Hard Candy, Rain King, Holiday In Spain, Raining In Baltimore, All My Friends, Black And Blue, A Murder Of One, Why Should You Come When I Call?]