Counting Crows: Recovering The Satellites

Wow, right on the heels of a CD I’ve had for a long time and only recently realized how good it was, here’s another one.  This one I’ve also had since it came out, which means it’s been even longer that I’ve had it without realizing its quality.  Now, this isn’t as good as Give, and I don’t like it as much as I liked August And Everything After back when I loved that album.  However, this follow-up is much better than Counting Crows’ debut album.

There’s plenty here that would have worked on that first disc.  “I’m Not Sleeping,” “Goodnight Elisabeth,” and the assuredly satirically (right?) overwrought “Miller’s Angels” all have the sobbing vocal whine and soft verses killing time between crescendos fans expected.  But there are a few times where they really rock it (the full hearts) and the band seems much stronger this time around, likely a result of what must have been almost non-stop touring to capitalize on their early success.

If I had to guess, I’d say I didn’t like this because it was just too Americana-twinged.  I don’t know what turned me off to it, but I know I tried a lot.  It’s almost three-and-a-half clowns, but I like those full hearts so much….

Rating:
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– “Angels Of The Silences,” “Have You Seen Me Lately?”
– “Catapult,” “Daylight Fading,” “I’m Not Sleeping,” “Goodnight Elisabeth,” “Children In Bloom,” “Another Horsedreamer’s Blues,” “Recovering The Satellites,” “Monkey,” “A Long December”
– “Miller’s Angels,” “Mercury,” “Walkaways”
Filed Between: Counting Crows’ “Mr. Jones” single and Course Of Empire (Course Of Empire)
Song Notes: Below the fold…

  1. Catapult – Dig the screech of the guitar.  Very good.
  2. Angels Of The Silences – Much harder than their older stuff.  I like it.
  3. Daylight Fading – Starts off with a Gin Blossoms-esque twang that’s an immediate turn off.  Probably wouldn’t have been keep under the old system.  It’s fine, just not all that great.
  4. I’m Not Sleeping – Pretty sweet.  Seems like it almost works, but the ridonkulously slow and deceptive “build” of the title takes itself too seriously and even the awesomeness of the climaxes, replete with a great strings part, can’t redeem it completely.
  5. Goodnight Elisabeth – Slow, full on Duritz whine.  “We can’t all be cowboys/some of us are clowns.”  Ugh.  References previous album with “I am the king of the rain.”
  6. Children In Bloom – Is this about living with your parents as an adult?
  7. Have You Seen Me Lately? – Another rocker.  Must be about his dissociative disorder, right?
  8. Miller’s Angels – Really gets bogged down and tortured at the end.  Could have been on August And Everything After.  Super slow beginning, too.  Actually, I like nothing about this except the short “don’t come around” parts, but even those doesn’t seem to open up like they promise to.
  9. Another Horsedreamer’s Blues – This might not be that bad, but for some reason it really doesn’t work after the last song dragged on so long.  I’m always in a bad mood at this point.  It’s actually pretty good, it just suffers so bad being after “Mller’s Angels.”  Anything would after that ending.
  10. Recovering The Satellites – Lyrically very “She Talks To Angels.”  Also recalls something in the first four tracks or so from August And Everything After.  A little yawny, but it has its moments.
  11. Monkey – And here things pick up again after a rough three-track stretch.  This is quite good.  Would have been keep under the old system.
  12. Mercury – Very twangy.  Harmonica. Has no redeeming qualities, completely unnecessary.
  13. A Long December – I seem to remember this title.  Was this a single?  The na na na na part just goes on for far too long.  I love it when I get a song stuck in my head, sing it around my two-year-old, and he asks me to keep singing it.  I’ve waited my whole life for somebody to say that about my singing.  I just had to stop using birth control.
  14. Walkaways – Not even 75 seconds.  Harmless, but what’s the point?
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