on 5 May 2007
When I bought this on its release it lived in my player. Little has changed. I am still besotted. The strong vocal style and clear image-loaded lyrics are just superb. "Round Here", "Mister Jones", "Sullivan Street" and "Murder of One" are beautiful hurting tracks, although it's impossible to pick a duff number.
The music is rock but with clear deep-south\country cajun\type influences, even if this is an LA band. That accordian for one thing. Not at all out of place in this rock setting, quite the opposite, an intrinsic part of the sound. "Recovering the Satelites" is a great follow up album to it but this debut still has the edge for me. It's a great impressionist painting of urban life, fair weather and foul weather. Aching love songs, aching anything songs. If you've never heard this album you're in for a magical surprise and, if this tips the balance, you owe me one!
on 4 December 2002
Here's where it all began. The band that would change many a life. And you could tell their potential in their debut...
One of the most definitive collections of emo/post grunge rock the early 90s saw. An album which lingers on in the mind (and record players) of many of those who heard it when it was released 9 years ago. Now, any debut album which manages to go multi-platinum is well worth a listen, even if just for curiousity's sake!
The septet (though then only a sextet) truely set the standard for American modern rock and brought the old singer/songwriter magic back which the world hasn't seen the likes of since the 70s.
It combines the beautifully moving songwriting of Adam Duritz with melodious guitars, haunting piano and a flawless rhythm team.
Duritz's songwriting truely deserves a mention here. His songs are honest, emotionally raw and provocatively written in a way which one feels every last emotion and his last grasps of desperation. It is also refreshing to hear a 30-something year old talking about life, loss and loneliness rather than a fresh faced teen. He moves angst to another level. He is a poet, possibly the modern day equivalent of Dylan and Simon.
The musicianship do the songs absolute justice, with guitars which jangle in all the right places, piano with soul and memorable rhythms.
For those who are new to the Crows, "August and Everything After" is a perfect starter kit and an introduction to their music which will leave you gasping for more. For those who have heard other Crows material, this will make it all so much clearer!
Songs to look out for are...the classics Mr Jones and Round Here, the emotionally raw, stunning Anna Begins (songwriting in one of it purest forms) and Rain King.
WARNING: One album, and you'll crave the other 4!
on 13 September 2003
Hard hitting emotional heart ache and joy all at once.
Tells a story about everyday life in a beautifully romantic way, yet in an oddly truthful sense.
Helps any late teenager clear the haze of angst, but can wrap in a dreamworld with pure escapism depending on the mood, just as well if not better than any grunge or emo outfit.
The lyrics are thoughtfully written, with the music being telling its own tale of discovery, whilst delighting the listener with the occassional antidote of anthum status - strange for such a subtle band, but high praise indeed.
Attempts to make most people, especially those around 17 or 18 (like I was - 2001) find the answer to anything and everything, whether its needed or not - and thats no bad thing.
I first came across Counting Crows whilst sat in a mates car when he was giving me a lift into work. After a couple of weeks I found myself humming the tunes and I just had to know who this band was.
"Oh it's Counting Crows" says my friend and that was when I went out and purchased this album.
What can I say abouut the album itself? Well it's laid back folk/rock. It's very laid back.
The music meanders from the start of the track and gently makes it way to the end of it. Adam Duritz has a sublime voice (which you won't find sounding anywhere near as good on any of their other albums in my view) and it makes the gentle music resonate with a beauty.
The first 3 tracks are simply stunning then it has a bit of a lul in the middle and gets back down to the action for the final few tracks.
Unfortunately I feel that Counting Crows reached their pinacle with this Album and all of their other albums I have found to be disappointing - but that is probably more to do with the outstanding quality of all the tracks on this one!
Superb, buy it now 10/10
on 15 April 2004
I bought this album after hearing about Counting Crows from a Canadian friend of mine who had a lot of their songs. As a relatively unknown band in the UK, I had never really considered them to be a BIG THING, more of a fringe band who had the odd good song.
How wrong I was! After getting a hold of a few of their mp3's, which I liked the sound of, I bought this album, and WOW!
Couting Crows deliver quality Altern Rock music combining both easy-listening and funky, lively tunes.
The music has a distinctive "country" feel to it, without you picturing them as a group of straw-chewing cowboys.
It portrays brilliant rock, without the typical and often boring hardcore beats and mindless strumming we see so much now.
At first I expected the album to have a couple of good songs, but a majority of "space-fillers" to make up the numbers, but no!
As a natural critic, I listened to each song meticulously, trying to find faults. None!
With other similar bands (Hootie and Dave Matthews to name two), there are the couple of obvious favourites, but then from number 5, the music starts to go downhill, and you know that the band ran out of ideas.
But with Counting Crows, there are no bad songs! This album simply doesnt get boring. Admittedly, there are the few obvious better songs, such as Omaha, Mr Jones, Perfect Blue Buildings and the superb Rain King, but the album doesnt end where these leave off. There's more quality!
This is the same with other albums from the Crows. With their inspired lyrics and vocals, they are now one of, if not the most influencial Altern Rock band still making music today.
I cant recommend this album enough. Music does not come better.
This album only has 5 stars, because the 6 option wasn't there.
on 20 October 2004
This album is the kind of album that soaks into your bones, and changes your moods. It is rich and emotional and stands up to as many listens as you have time for. The songs generate wonderful images of places and people. Anna Begins is one of the most moving and exciting songs you will ever hear and the album is worth buying if just for that one track. Recommended.
Counting Crows forged a successful career and received countless fans after they released their first album, "August and Everything after". And there's not a sane person in the world who wouldn't be able to figure out why. August and everything after is a masterpiece of epic proportions. Each song is captivating and memorable, emotional and meaningful, and I'm guaranteeing that if Counting Crows are new to you, you'll completely agree with me during the first minute you'll hear the album by listening to the almost unbearably emotional "Round Here". And the great thing is, things get even better as the album carries on, which is almost impossible to believe at first after listening to Round Here and Omaha. But it's completely true, what follows is the unforgettable "Mr. Jones", a song that comes from deep inside of Adam Duritz's heart, which shows his desperate need to gain fame and leave his loneliness behind. Perfect Blue buildings, the next track is a little below the standard of Mr. Jones, but nevertheless, it's still an incredible track. Next up is "Anna Begins", a song about a girl Duritz felt he had a special bond with, though things didn't work between the two in the end. It's a phenomenal track, with extremely effective lyrics "every time she sneezes, I believe it's love", and the melody is as equally memorable. Time and time again is a great track, if a little less memorable than most of the songs on the album. The first line of the song is a perfect example of what Crows do best, creating meaningful lyrics that don't feel cliched or tedious. "I wanted so badly, someone over than me, looking back at me." The next track, "Rain King" is a true classic. The catchy chorus "I'm alone, but in the service of the queen I belong", is just one of the many impressive points to compliment about the song. Duritz's raw, emotional voice is used best here in this song, and reflects the tough life he had before releasing the album more than impressively. Definitely one of the best tracks on the album. Sullivan Street is the following track, one of the most effective tearjerkers made in music history (well in my honest opinion anyway). It's a calm ride through the song, which amplifies the depressing atmosphere the song tries to pursue. Ghost Train's the next track, which I believe is the weakest track of the album. Which doesn't mean it's a bad song at all, but just means it doesn't reach the incredible standard left behind by the rest of the album. The last two tracks close things off perfectly. First there's Raining in Baltimore, the most depressing song on the whole album, but it's still a lovely, memorable piano laden song that will even shred the toughest of hearts into pieces. Finally, there's A murder of one, my personal favorite from the album. Words are used unbelievably effectively throughout the song: "All your life is a shame, shame, shame, All your love is just a dream, dream, dream...". The song slowly builds up towards the unforgettable finale where Duritz screams at the top of his voice "Change, Change, Change!" These words are used all the more effectively since we know Duritz's life changed after he made this album, and for the better.
So all in all, probably one of my favorite albums of all time, which is only rivaled by "Hard Candy" another record made by Counting Crows. Completely unmissable.
on 16 July 2005
the counting crowes august and everything after a beautiful spine chilling album of pure gold quality it's a soothing album of "soft rock" classic with wonderful poetry as lyrics the lyrics are some of the best i've ever heard up there with bob dylan john lennon and joni mitchell for the heart-felt feeling that they give out, i have a couple of crowes album and i bought this about 6 months ago and just recently decided to play it for the first time..i know i'm stupid and i realised what i have been missing, i can't beileve how one album can be this great!!!
all the tracks are under-rated classic that would and probaly sound fantastic live, "MR.Jones and me"
on 21 January 2004
This is an album i bought on cassette when it first came out and i listened to it so many times the writing wore off the tape - listening to it again recently i remembered why..
It is beautiful, that much is undeniable, but it also evokes a place and a feeling that is hard to describe. It has a hint of late summer about it (the title says it all), it feels like it should be listened to lying on your back on a warm day in an empty field. I can pay it no greater tribute.
It is intense without being over earnest, melodically it is totally accessible thanks to Duritz's beautiful vocals and ear for a tune, but it also will move you and make you analyse the lyrics for each subtle nuance. The obvious tracks remain instantly appealing (Mr Jones, Round Here) but there really is no let up in the quality. If this kind of country tinged rock music is your thing and somehow you have never heard this album, buy it and keep listening to it and i can guarantee it will become your musical best friend.
on 25 July 2007
My first true musical love.Counting Crows are a fantastic band,an immensely talented band of individuals in their own right put together with the voice and beauty of Adam Duritz lyrics you really have something a little bit special here.This lived in my Hi-fi for years and is never far from it now.Guitars,mandolins, pedal steel,piano,hammond b-3 organ the sound is lush.The tone often sombre but so richly painted this is a classic!and is deservedly their most famous and sucessful record.Anyone looking into the Crows star here,anyone after a classic album buy this.