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Counting Crows - Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7.75
Production 9
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 6.5
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 76%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.28
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 9.64
Production 9.17
Creativity 8.86
Lasting Value 8.92
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Average: 91%

Counting Crows - Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings

Reviewed by: Tony Pascarella (03/28/08)
Counting Crows Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings
Release Date: March 25, 2008
Record Label: Geffen Records

Going platinum eleven times in less than fifteen years is an admirable feat for any recording artist, but Counting Crows have made it look cool. Dreadlocked lead singer Adam Duritz became sort of a poet of a generation, appealing to both young and old with his heartfelt lyrics and soothing vocals. The band's newest creation, is the split-level Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings. The so-called "Saturday Nights" section is a seedy romp through debauchery and confusion, posing more questions than answers as frontman Adam Duritz puts himself all the way out on a limb for listeners. The "Sunday Mornings" portion experiences a bit of twisted nostalgia, as the singer replays and then comes to terms with his faults.

"1492" is perhaps one of the hardest-rocking songs that the band has ever written, fed by shimmering guitar riffs. The dueling dragons of guitar and piano on "Hanging Tree" play an interesting foil to the smoky feel of "Los Angeles" and the playful-sounding "Sundays." All four tracks could be well-received future singles yet stand on their own as great additions to the Crows' catalog. After a relatively blistering six-song Saturday night, the next seven drag a bit in places as the relatively sparse arrangements quickly lose steam (see the plodding, harmonica-laced "On Almost Any Sunday Morning") and leave us wishing for Monday to come.

We encounter this misguided longing again on the chorus-heavy "Ballet d'Or" and "On a Tuesday in Amsterdam Long Ago," which fails to impress musically or even keep our attention for its near-five minute runtime. That said, there are several highlights on the "Sunday Mornings" half of the album. "When I Dream of Michaelangelo," lead single "You Can't Count on Me," and the surging album closer, "Come Around," offer a solid mix of replayable songs but a few too many overall misses and overly drawn-out tracks for longtime Counting Crows fans.

Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings falls somewhere in the lower-middle of the band's discography; it is more fluid than the immensely top-heavy Hard Candy, but lacking the near-infinite staying power of August & Everything After. Whether it builds a devoted following of new Counting Crows fans is up to the test of time. When publications begin doing retrospectives on the band for their Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame induction years from now, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings will likely be looked back on as a transition album as opposed to a cornerstone of their career, where Counting Crows tried to adapt to a changing music industry while remaining fresh and relevant as well as true to their roots.
Track List01. 1492
02. Hanging Tree
03. Los Angeles
04. Sundays
05. Insignificant
06. Cowboys
07. Washington Square
08. On Almost Any Sunday Morning
09. When I Dream of Michaelangelo
10. Anyone But You
11. You Can't Count on Me
12. Le Ballet d'Or
13. On a Tuesday in Amsterdam Long Ago
14. Come Around
Listen to Counting CrowsMyspace | Buy Counting Crows' Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings on iTunes
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 34
05:58 AM on 03/28/08
#2
Poochemist
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Informative review; too bad things start to get shaky in the middle of the album.

"The 'Sunday Nights' portion experiences a bit of twisted nostalgia, as the singer replays and then comes to terms with his faults (and ultimately so do we, the listeners)."

We come to terms with his faults, or our own? Just a little strange wording there- I had to study it a bit.
06:02 AM on 03/28/08
#3
Tony Pascarella
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Informative review; too bad things start to get shaky in the middle of the album.

"The 'Sunday Nights' portion experiences a bit of twisted nostalgia, as the singer replays and then comes to terms with his faults (and ultimately so do we, the listeners)."

We come to terms with his faults, or our own? Just a little strange wording there- I had to study it a bit.
Yeah, I almost cut that in one of my drafts but didn't. I decided now I probably should. It doesn't really change what I'm saying to remove it, so I figure I should eliminate confusion.
06:39 AM on 03/28/08
#4
sunsetxshootout
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And is it supposed to be the "Sunday Mornings" portion? Or is it Sunday Nights?

Good review though <3.
06:40 AM on 03/28/08
#5
Jared Kaufman
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I am obsessed with "Hanging Tree" and "Los Angeles".
07:00 AM on 03/28/08
#6
zclark
this is everybody's air sir!
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los angeles is such a jam... i was so glad to see ryan adams involved with this record. not really feeling the second half either though.. i was bummed when i found out that the idea was to separate the album into an energetic half and a mellow half. if the tracklisting was a little more balanced i think i'd like it a little bit more
07:26 AM on 03/28/08
#7
Tony Pascarella
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And is it supposed to be the "Sunday Mornings" portion? Or is it Sunday Nights?

Good review though <3.
Grr. I apologize. Fixed. The fact that they had "Sunday" in two song titles made it even more confusing.
07:27 AM on 03/28/08
#8
Tony Pascarella
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I am obsessed with "Hanging Tree" and "Los Angeles".
Hanging Tree is by far the first song that I fell in love with on this CD. Basically, the first half is great and the second half is spotty, IMO.
07:33 AM on 03/28/08
#9
forg3tmyname
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You know, I really can't argue that the "Saturday Nights" section of the album is really where the Crows shine on this release. However, after repeat listening, "Sunday Mornings" has REALLY grown on me. It might seem like a rather dull contrast to the hardrocking on the first half of the album, but when you can come to really appreciate it on it's own its pretty amazing. Probably one of my favorite releases so far this year.

By the way, "On a Tuesday..." is probably one of the most honest, heartfelt Crows songs that Duritz has ever written. Beautiful.

Good review!
07:41 AM on 03/28/08
Tony Pascarella
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I think I'd have liked to have seen Saturday Nights as a full album (it'd need a few more songs, obviously) and maybe Sunday Mornings as an EP release or something.
07:43 AM on 03/28/08
underthetalking
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Well written, Tony. I pretty much agree with most of this. The first half of the album is great, but then its like the entire second half is filler.
08:06 AM on 03/28/08
loveisdead
Go Peyton Go
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I really enjoyed this Tony. Great review man.
08:20 AM on 03/28/08
dat scene kid
omg wtf lolz
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Solid review. I've listened to it twice through, but was doing stuff so I think I need to sit down with it and commit myself to giving it a full listen. "Los Angeles" and "Hanging Tree" did stand out to me. Likewise, I surprised at how hard 1492 was...caught me off guard.
08:24 AM on 03/28/08
new_arbiter
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I might pick this up next week when I get paid. It's either this, new Gnarls Barkley, or new Panic.
08:35 AM on 03/28/08
midtown4657
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good review, amazing record. though i'm really surprised you have no mention of Cowboys. for me i think it's easily one of the best and most raw rocking songs they've ever released. so good.
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