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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back To Their Best
This the fourth studio album from Counting Crows sees them return to their best. After a disappointing third album (this Desert Life) it appeared that the band had runs its course. But you cannot expect a band to produce outstanding albums one after the other and fortunately for us Hard Candy sees them producing the music of a standard laid down by their first two...
Published on 10 July 2002

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A further drift towards middle fo the road
Having read the other reviews of Hard Candy I seem to be in the minority as I feel it is another example of how one of the worlds most talented rock bands, seem to be slipping rapidly towards bland middle-of-the-road country music.

August and Everything was one of the finest albums ever made, containing semi-grunge mellow rock with beatiful melodies and lyrics...
Published on 28 Mar 2008 by David Portas


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back To Their Best, 10 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
This the fourth studio album from Counting Crows sees them return to their best. After a disappointing third album (this Desert Life) it appeared that the band had runs its course. But you cannot expect a band to produce outstanding albums one after the other and fortunately for us Hard Candy sees them producing the music of a standard laid down by their first two albums (August and Everything After and Recovering the Satelites). Not only does it equal these standards but they have developed. Not necessarily improved on quality, but have certainly taken their sound into a new era. Although not entirely different, and still written from the same writing formula of Duritz, their music has matured to a level of a band that released its debut album almost ten years ago. They are back to where they should be.
A highly recommended purchase for already converted Counting Crows fans, and even possibly for newcomers, although their earlier work provides a much more addictive sound. Well worthy of four stars, a band revived.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its what we've been waiting for!, 17 Jun 2002
By 
Beamo (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
Being a massive COunting Crows fan I was a little worried about the new album. Could it be as good as the previous releases? Yes it can. Starting with the title track, and followed by the new single the latest offering just leaves you crying out for more. I was lucky enough to see them perform at the Astoria on the 12th June where they played several tracks from the album. As always, the were amazing live, playing a few acoustic covers and showing us the energy that can be put into the new songs. As well as the loud rocking songs, the album comes with a few melodious tracks which again are complex and well lyricised. Black and Blue and Holiday in Spain are both great and Miami will almost definately be a song they play live for a long time.
So, why should you buy this album from the UK instead of importing it for less money..? Well..you get two extra tracks which are not available on the international release.
While not strides forward from the last album, its a more refined sound which left me gasping for more. Enjoy...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A further drift towards middle fo the road, 28 Mar 2008
By 
David Portas (Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
Having read the other reviews of Hard Candy I seem to be in the minority as I feel it is another example of how one of the worlds most talented rock bands, seem to be slipping rapidly towards bland middle-of-the-road country music.

August and Everything was one of the finest albums ever made, containing semi-grunge mellow rock with beatiful melodies and lyrics. The follow-up, Recovering the Satellites, was more electric but nonetheless a powerful sequel. Sadly I found Desert Life fairly uninspiring and Hard Candy has continued the drift away from edgy emotional rock to, dare I say it, american middle-aged blandness. Make no mistake, there are some good tracks on the album, but as a fan I have begun to question the direction the band are going in. Come on Adam - get angry again. You know you want to !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to form with a great album, 13 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
After 2 somewhat dissapointing albums (Recovering the Satelites and This Desert Life), the 'Crows' have made an album which ranks alongside their debut album AAEA.
On first listen, many of the tracks seem somewhat difficult to listen to and lack spark, however I have never known an album to grow on me as much as this one has. With each listen all of the initially percieved weaker tracks gradially ingrain themselves and surprisingly for an album with 13 tracks (not including bonus tracks)there isn't one weak track. Each song as his own quality and appeal.
For me melody is key and this album has the full range, even though it's not really an album you can particularly sing along to. Musically it is also faultless.
Title track 'Hard Candy' is a pleasant up beat opener whilst 'American Girls' is immediately accessible and a definate stand out. Probably just about my favourite song on the album is the beautiful 'Black & Blue' which often helps me to sleep (in a good way) followed closely by 'If I could give all my love to you'. Other highlights are 'Butterfly in Reverse', 'Up all night' and also 'Holiday in Spain' which I find particularly appealing as I am going to Spain soon.
You may be wondering how such a complimentary review only warrants 4 out of 5. Well I would have given it 4.5, but you can only give whole numbers. For me, every song on an album must be close to outstanding for it to deserve 5 out of 5.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive stuff, 3 Sep 2004
By 
JFS (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
A friend played me Up All Night which I instantly loved. after that I was curious about what else they had to offer. This album is actually very impressive - there's an array of influences on this album - the most striking is 'Butterfly In Reverse' which could very easily be a Ben Folds song. The rest is mainly American rock at its best although has some great mellow moments (Carriage). Dont let the cheap cover version of Big Yellow Taxi put you off. Highlights include: American Girls, Good Time, If I Could Give All My Love (which is laden with Beatles influences), Butterfly In Reverse, Carriage, Up All Night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a drop in form, 28 Mar 2008
By 
Martyn - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
I'm a big fan of Counting Crows, unusually because it's mid-american rock which i'm not always a fan of but there's a great feeling of depth and integrity about them

This album is easily their most disappointing - they've departed from their usual territory which is not a bad thing in itself but in this case they've simply adopted too many musical styles without enough panache to carry it off

basically i'd give all their other albums a 4.5, but this is a three because only just over half the songs are good
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different Class, 25 Aug 2006
By 
Scully Bloke (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
I had never come accross the counting crows before I found this album. But it is very very good. Mellow Rock. Goodnight LA has become one of my favourite songs. The title track Hard Candy and American girls I understand are now classic Crows tracks. And the song that introduced me to them, their rendition of Joni Mitchells Big Yellow Taxi is just different class.

A truly remarkable album, that really brought the Crows fame in Europe.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mature, confident, brilliant, 10 July 2002
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
The Crows have come a long way since 'August and Everything After' and have produced their best-sounding record to date. While some of the simplicity and innocence that made their first album so appealing is still here, it is the virtuosity of producer Steve Lillywhite that really lifts 'Hard Candy' into the stratosphere of great rock albums. The song 'Hard Candy' is their best opening number since 'Round Here', and this is only the beginning. This album is light of touch, refreshing and meaningful and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into it - even the cover art is fantastic. Adam Duritz's voice is on top form and much mellower than his previous, emotionally charged performances. This album will hopefully attract new fans to a band which has never compromised its creativity while producing beautiful music. And the hidden track is a recognisable gem but I'll leave you to hear it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece-unable to be faultered and absolutely amazing, 4 Feb 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
The immense talent that makes up Counting Crows never ceases to amaze me, they are absolutely FANTASTIC and they show this in this CD, a masterpiece. The thing I love so much about Counting Crows is that they condense every feeling possible to humans and those feelings we get doing such, small and insignificant things that please us so much. From the falling of autumn leaves to watching the sun rise as a new day starts to feeling the chill of winter, the Crows make us feel it all. They capture every aspect of life and the essence of nature and combine all these things into beautiful, soul searching music that is absolutely god damn fantastic.
This CD shows no faults as the band go on to develop their talents and it is a CD that has something for everyone and no matter how you are feeling, listening to this CD brings sunshine into yor life.
The best tracks, absolutely all of them, I can't fault any of them, it is such a marvellous album, a complilation of life, so buy it and I guarantee if you are not a fan you will become one and if you are, then you can delight in the best music around and make your passion for the Crows triple, at least!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Soft Rock and Hard Candy, 20 April 2007
By 
Huck Flynn "huckleberry" (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hard Candy (Audio CD)
This CD sees the Crows in more mellow, melodic form with a collection of consistently strong original material and a few surprising bonus covers. Duritz's songwriting shows a mature touch and his singing is as strong (and plaintive) as ever. There are lots of influences - west coast rock, dylan, the band right through to U2 (New Frontier) but the seven strong band all make creative contributions to that big Counting Crows sound. The openers Hard Candy and American Girls are Crows style macho anthemic rock, well delivered catchy uptempo stuff but Good Time follows with a more soulful, expressive Duritz vocal that is perhaps more representative of this album as a whole with keyboards to the fore. This sets the theme for the next 3 songs and If I Could Give All My Love to You is a great pop song, with lovely hook and refrain. Butterfly in Reverse is a well crafted composition by any standards, layered and arranged subtly and shows just how much the band has progressed musically. Miami is back to the rocky foundations, very effective and typical Crows riff and the tempo rises again for New Frontier's very powerful guitar leads. Carriage is a beautiful track, acoustic guitar and trumpet? solo. More ballads follow, all well constructed and arranged before it's party time (on the UK release) and the boys have a ball playing Dylan's You Ain't Goin Nowhere and Joni's Big Yellow Taxi. At 16 tracks you definitely get your money's worth and a few new Crow classics. Not quite so stunning an achievement as the debut album "August" but high quality serious music for grown ups.
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