So, yesterday I as well as thousands of dedicated Counting Crows fans (stop snickering) received emails alerting us to the ‘Free Digital 45’ download form www.countingcrows.com. The Digital 45 contained a couple of tracks from the forthcoming Crows release Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings. The album is supposed to be a double album with each side corresponding to a sort of mood alluded to in the title. Saturday Nights is the charged-up rockin’ side with Sunday Mornings being the laid-back acoustic affair. The tracks released yesterday seem to be one from each side.
Let me say a couple of things first as by the end of this post I will likely be branded an asshole critic, crows-basher. I’ve been a huge Crows fan from the beginning. I mean I was on AOL bulletin boards back in ’95 talking about the Crows. I own, physically own, every album, tons of singles, live albums, etc. I’ve been to an uncountable number of Crows live performances, gotten tons of autographs. So, yes. I’m a fan. Which is why what I’ve got to say now is so painful.
I think the new stuff SUCKS. In actuality it probably doesn’t suck as bad as say, every Britney Spears single, but the stark mediocrity blaring against moderately high expectations gives it such distasteful pallor that I think I know now how Elvis fans felt when he got fat and started doing Vegas. The first track they released, “Cowboys”, wasn’t too bad. Definitely hinted back at the glory that was Recovering the Satellites, but seemed to come up short like a left over track that didn’t make RTS. I wasn’t too thrilled either by the jammy ‘Come Around’ that was let out about the same time. ‘Oh well,” I thought. “These are just a couple of throwaways they put out to wet everybody’s appetite.” It appears that I may have been drastically wrong in that assumption.
After listening several times to the downloads offered up on Wednesday, ‘1492’ and ‘When I dream of Michelangelo’ I am so disappointed. I mean, ‘1492’? That was one of the songs they paraded around live only to leave it off of the Hard Candy album. Well, at any rate, the songs sound more derivative and lyrically strained than a Velvet Revolver ballad.
I don’t want to do too much bashing because, trust me, this hurts me more than it hurts the Crows. I hope, nay, PRAY that the rest of the album is much better than what we’ve been shown. As always, I’ll be there on March 25th to pick up my copy the day it comes out. I’ll post yesterday’s songs so everybody can form their own opinions.