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Customer Review

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not feeling it...., 29 Mar. 2008
By 
This review is from: Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings (Audio CD)
For starters, I think Counting Crows are one of the most underated bands of the last fifteen years. Their first two albums- 'August and everything after' and 'Recovering the Satellites'- are masterpieces. The sheer excellence of these first two records has made every following CC release struggle to live up to expectations. 'This Desert Life'(1999) and 'Hard Candy' (2002) are both great records. It's just that they are not as great as the first two.

So, 'Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings' has a lot to live up to. This is especially the case given that it is their first new album in almost six years. Things start well with '1492' and 'Hanging Tree' both of which are from the rockier end of the CC spectrum. However, by the time you get to 'Los Angeles' a nagging thought starts to rear its ugly head- the Counting Crows have done all of this before. As Duritz sings the chorus of "If you see that movie star and me" you start to get the feeling you have heard it all before. Things pick up again however with the rather excellent 'Cowboys' before the second, quieter half of the album gets going...

... and that's where the feelings of deja vu starts to come in spades. At times it almost seems as though Duritz is just going through the motions. He is trying to sound forlorn for the sake of sounding forlorn. The passion and real heart wrenching angst, so prevalent on their first four albums, seems to have gone a bit stale. When Adam sings "Come back to me" on 'On a Tuesday in Amsterdam Long Ago' you cant help but feel it is an inferior re-write of the rather amazing 'Raining in Baltimore' from their debut record. It just sounds like he is going through the motions and not really feeling it.

The second half of the album does have its good tracks though, especially 'When I Dream of Michaelangelo' and 'Come Around', the latter of which is a very fitting end to the record. The problem with the second half of this album is just that it sags a little. Songs such as 'On Almost Any Sunday Morning' and especially 'Le Ballet D'Or' feel unnecessary and add little to the overall album apart from making it longer. Also, the sub-Beatles harmonies at the end of 'Anyone But You' don't really work either and go on for too long blunting the impact of an otherwise good track.

All in all 'Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings' is patchy. I have never said that about a CC release before and hope I will never have to say it about any future records they release. However, this album is sadly a little bit disapointing. It has some great tracks (1492, Hanging Tree, Cowboys, When I Dream of Michaelangelo and Come Around). A number of good, solid tracks (Insignificant, Washington Square and You Can't Count on Me) and then the rest of the record just sounds a bit lazy and over familiar. Maybe this would have been a stronger ten track record with the bulk of the songs from the first half with a couple of the '... Sunday Mornings' half thrown in. Who knows, but viewed as a whole it doesn't really work. Time for Counting Crows to re-think things a little.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Mar 2008 19:37:12 GMT
Bungliemutt says:
Agree 100%. Said much better than I could - saves me writing a review.

Posted on 8 Jun 2008 21:29:03 BDT
King of pain says:
Spot on review.
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