Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up And Down...And Up Again, 13 Sep 2003
This review is from: This Desert Life (Audio CD)
Counting Crows are phenomenal. They amount of talent in this band that never seems to be recognised by a wider audience is criminally good. Adam Duritz's lyrics are while very thought provoking, brightly innocent, and just unlike anything else currently on Earth. They are currently the greatest band in the world. That's just my opinion, that's all it is. Other people may differ with me, but here is why they are the greatest band currently raining on the planet...
They've always been a very good band just for different reasons, and up until the release of their latest album 'Hard Candy', 'This Desert Life' was their most varied and imaginative album. 'August And Everything After' is incredibly simplistic in comparison to some of their later releases, but that's not a bad thing. The sheer simplicity, combined with their slightly discordant, and angst that is like nothing else, made it one of the best mainly acoustic albums of all time. But through their graduation through the years, through a much more rockier, but just as angsty effort in, 'Recovering The Satellites', they always retained that pleasant innocence, and an astounding amount of simplicity. And it is still retained on, 'This Desert Life'...
Although not their ''heaviest'' song, if you can actually call anything the Crows do as heavy, 'Hangin' Around' is their finest up-beat song up to the date of release, with some terrific guitar stomping following the band clapping to open and Duritz's vocals in their most catchy chorus the Crows ever did. Many people have heard 'Mrs. Potter's Lullaby' and compared it to their breakthrough single, 'Mr Jones', and while this is a fair analysis, 'Mr Jones' always packed a bit more of a punch, and provided an almost icy atmosphere, whereas 'Mrs. Potter's...' is a fair bit more upbeat, which seems to be the direction the Crows appear to be heading.
Of course, this is a Counting Crows record, there's going to be some terrific piano and acoustic ballads full of angst and 'shoe-gazing' qualities. 'Amy Hits The Atmosphere', 'Speedway' and album standout, 'Colorblind', provide that much needed hit of piano and guitar based angst that all the fans love them for. It'd be so easy to say that it's what they do best, but it's not, because the Counting Crows are so diverse, that they just seem to sound invincible through everything they do.
'All My Friends' provides a fine up-and-down feeling with a fine violin section during the chorus, again showing the Crows power with their instruments. It's also notable at this point that Counting Crows have often been criticised by critics and the public alike for being mere throw-backs. 'This Desert Life' and then most recently, 'Hard Candy' have shown a fine example of the Crows originality that is not often seen on the surface. 'I Wish I Was A Girl' is a fine pop-rock song, that only Counting Crows could do and pull off so perfectly, and still manage to add nice little touches and retro guitars, that compared with the rest of the album, shows their diversity and originality, but will unfortunately never really prove the critics wrong.
The rest of the tracks are just pure Counting Crows' own classic style with new ideas and out-of-this-world lyrics and pure pompous moments that are just as important as the standouts in the process of making another fine album that only they could make.
If you're in the same position as the Crows, then it would be just easier to go along with the saying 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'. Well if you said that you wouldn't be the Counting Crows. They seem to be always striving to improve themselves and increase the quality of their music, and at this point, they have never once disappointed. This is why Counting Crows are the greatest band in the world today. It's just my opinion. And the Crows have always been about opinion.
4.5 Stars.
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S. Wright
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Location: Sheffield, England.

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