our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
And, so long
as every Counting Crows album from here on out is "just another
Counting Crows album," we'll remain orgasmic ourselves.
liked Hard Candy...
2. American Girls
3. Good Time
4. If I could Give All My Love -or- Richard
Manuel Is Dead
5. Goodnight L.A.
6. Butterfly in Reverse
8. New Frontier
10. Black and Blue
11. Why Should You Come When I Call?
12. Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes to Hollywood)
13. Holiday in Spain