Counting Crows: This Desert Life

When an album pains me to listen to it, I don’t have a lot of patience for creativity in my review, so I’ma make this quick: this is pretty lousy.  The songwriting shows no advancement or even much of a change from their first two albums, the sound is atrocious, and there are moments, particularly at the start of the last track and the ends of the first and last, where they seem to be intentionally annoying.

There are some decent songs on here and, while they probably manage to squeak out a couple of keepers, there’s nothing I couldn’t do without.  The best feature of the album is the lyrics, which seem to be almost exclusively about lead singer Adam Duritz’s dissociative disorder, an affliction that’s captured much of my imagination lately as I cannot seem to get my head around what it means to be so dissociated from oneself.

Anyway, meh songs, ass sound.  Sucks.

Rating:
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– “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby,” “Four Days,” “All My Friends,” “I Wish I Was A Girl,” “Speedway,” “St. Robinson In His Cadillac Dream”
– “Hanginaround,””Amy Hit The Atmosphere,” “High Life,” “Colorblind,” “Kid Things (Non-Album Version)”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Hanginaround – Hand claps. Gets dumb at end.  Sounds like ass.  Pretty enjoyable up until last 0:45 when things get so stupid loud and ass-sounding.
  2. Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby – Good.  But does it need to be 7:45?  (No.)  This sounds bad, too.  Also has some lyrics that seem to be about his dissociative disorder.
  3. Amy Hit The Atmosphere – Doesn’t drive me nuts, but there’s very little here to recommend.
  4. Four Days – Probs my fave and maybe the only one that would make it to keep status.
  5. All My Friends – You hardly even notice this track is there.  Very mumbly in parts.  Not bad, though.
  6. High Life – That repeated upward strings resolution bugs me.  Plus really shit sound, peaking.
  7. Colorblind – Sounds very R.E.M.  Like a “Drive” kind of thing.  Except bad.  Sleepy.  Don’t hate it, but it’s hard to say I like it.
  8. I Wish I Was A Girl – Oh god. Not sure what the i wish i was a girl part means, but I think this is about his dissociative disorder.  “They’re gonna make a movie/Of the things crawling ’round my brain.”  Could barely make open based on good parts, but god sound sucks, spesh with big build at end.
  9. Speedway – Hardly notice it, but has some decent parts.
  10. St. Robinson In His Cadillac Dream – Somewhere between meh and okay.
  11. Kid Things (Non-Album Version) –  Our children will wonder why anybody ever thought this bonus track of goofing around was ever a good idea.  That beginning is so annoying I can’t do anything but break this.  And the end is even worse.  It’s too bad, because there’s a pretty good song here between the dumb stuff.
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