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Counting Crows

Hard Candy

Release Date: 07.09.02
Record label: Geffen
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Making Me Feel So Incredible
by: bill aicher

For a band that's been putting out albums for nearly a decade now, Counting Crows have relatively few studio albums under their belt. Their debut, August and Everything has gone on to become a modern classic, and each album since then has been built upon variations of August's roots/rock recipe. Hard Candy is no different, it's really just another Counting Crows album. Fortunately, calling something "just another Counting Crows album" is saying a lot.

Hard Candy finds Adam Duritz & Co. treading relatively familiar ground - songs about girls and heartbreak and loneliness abound, yet there is also an underlying poppier approach present as well. The first single, "American Girls" (featuring Sheryl Crow) is a prime example of this poppier, happier Counting Crows flavor - likewise with "Hard Candy." Meanwhile, "If I Could Give All My Love - or- Richard Manuel Is Dead" is one of the best The Band-influenced tracks ever recorded.

Still, like any Counting Crows album, Hard Candy succeeds most when it's at its most emotional. Instances like "Black and Blue" and the superb rock-waltz of "Butterfly In Reverse" (featuring Adam Duritz's compatriot, Ryan Adams). The former is easily the most memorable track on the new album, and it alone is worth the price of admission.

However, the album's biggest treasure is the uncredited "hidden track" - a cover of Joni Mitchell's immortal "Big Yellow Taxi." It's one of the better covers you'll hear of this song, and hearing it from a male point-of-view brings on new meaning.

This being said, we still return to the fact that Hard Candy really is just another Counting Crows album. It's solid throughout, and is worthy of its place alongside Counting Crows's other efforts, but it's far from groundbreaking. Yet those looking for a completely solid album will be pleased, and Counting Crows fans will be undoubtedly orgasmic.

And, so long as every Counting Crows album from here on out is "just another Counting Crows album," we'll remain orgasmic ourselves.
15-Jul-2002 10:30 PM