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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
55
This Desert Life
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 26 August 2015
Counting crows are great and my favourite track on this album is Mrs potters lullaby. I have to be in the right mood though as it can be quite effective if you are feeling a bit glum, lets just say its slightly more optimistic than some tracks!
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on 18 April 2016
love this album this is the 3 copy i have now as the other ones were 1. lost and 2. broken
very good album
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on 7 December 2015
Good
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on 13 July 2015
great
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on 10 May 2016
Brilliant array of songs great album
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on 14 January 2016
One of their classic albums.
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on 1 June 2013
St. Robinson's Cadillac Dream, All My Friends, Hanginaround, Mrs Potter's Lullaby are all great, but this isn't my favorite Counting Crows album.
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on 1 April 2012
these are my initial and general thoughts.rather than a specific critique of each track.

to those new to this band, to my ear they sound like a mix of tom petty, early rolling stones, the voice - and certainly the angst - of REM - the twangs of poco, the rambling of The Band. all this is good, yet they never, for me, break through to brilliance. they are without doubt very much an american band. you cant imagine any british band doing this stuff . the tradition just isnt there - we just dont do, i am sorry to say, that loose, twangy, guitar sound.

what i dont get about this band, though i do not dislike it , is that ever present background angst. "Theres a peice of Maria in every song I write" - fine, no problem, but apart from thinking she as dying as you sang on an early albim, who was she? did the lead singer have a sister who died? The back story is a mystery to me is it real or contrived? I like, yet somehow also dont like, how it seems to permeate all their albums. Is this a real situation or some invented tragedy on which they can hitch a theme of gloom?
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on 13 December 2017
After the disappointment of Recovering the Satellites the Crows bounced back with the enjoyable, sophisticated and underrated This Desert Life. The album contains some of the bands best songs. Hanging Around is a catchy rocker, High Life is very moving and the best song on the album is the absolutely beautiful and touching Amy Hit the Atmosphere. It is one of those wonderful songs that can be interpreted in different ways.
The only reason the album doesn’t get 5 starts is while there are no songs I actively dislike, the song writing is a bit of weird and unfocused for me in songs such as Colorblind and St.Robinson In His Cadillac Dream. Also Four Days and Speedway are completely forgettable. Still is you enjoyed the Bands debut then you will get a lot of satisfaction from This Desert Life.
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on 13 September 2003
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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