CD Review of Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings by Counting Crows
Recommended if you like
Better Than Ezra, Augustana,
The Damnwells
Label
Geffen
Counting Crows:
Saturday Nights and
Sunday Mornings

Reviewed by Mike Farley

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I
f you’re a Counting Crows fan, you’ve endured a painful six years between albums. And was it worth that wait? Well, Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings has better songs overall than 2002’s Hard Candy, but this band has lost a lot of the cool factor that appealed to the college crowd 15 years ago. Instead, they’re just a good American rock band, one with a lead singer (Adam Duritz) who has one of the more recognizable voices in pop music. Musically, they’re now more like Tom Petty, whereas their debut in 1993, August and Everything After, was more acoustic and introspective, a la Damien Rice.

Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings kicks off with the ballsy rocker “1492,” and this is a track that could have easily have come off of the band’s acclaimed sophomore effort, Recovering the Satellites. There are more guitar-driven tracks worth the price of admission, in particular “Cowboys,” which, despite its blazing guitars, uses dynamics as well as any Crows song ever has. The bluesy “Los Angeles” is a sunny-day, put-the-top-down, shuffling type of song. And there are a few moments that will remind you of the real early Crows, such as the pretty acoustic number “Washington Square” and “On a Tuesday in Amsterdam Long.” Unfortunately, there are a handful of tracks (“You Can Count on Me” and “Come Around”) that are sugary like bubblegum—and lose their flavor in a big hurry. Two bonus tracks, “Sessions” and “Sunday Morning L.A.,” are nothing to write home about either, though the latter has a nice John Bonham-esque drum beat.

Counting Crows

Six years between albums and Counting Crows have delivered sixteen new songs, which has to make you wonder why they didn’t give us ten now, and ten more in two years. Part of the reason is that Duritz was spending time starting a record label, putting on the hat of both executive and producer to two other artists. But still, six years in the music business is an eternity, and you have to think Counting Crows have lost a few fans. The good news is that the hardcore followers should all find something to like on Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, because there are certainly enough good tracks to go around.

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