on September 3, 2001
Many people have stories to tell about this album, about how it changed their life, helped through tough times, about how a particular song always makes them cry. I haven't experienced any of those, but it is still the most emotionally charged album I have ever heard. It is not the kind of music I usually listen to - I usually go for harder bands - but once i had listened to this album properly, absorbing every heart rending facet of Adam Duritz' moving, touching, emphatic vocals I was hooked. This album has so many classics - Round Here, Mr Jones, Anna Begins, Murder of One - that a day rarely goes by 3 months and 6 albums later that I don't listen to some of it. The truths contained within the lyrics are timeless, the emotion within the singing heartfelt - by both Adam and you. The music mostly serves to lift Adam's vocals to a new level, enhancing and augmenting it. Really, though, it is impossible to tell whether or not you like other than sitting down and listening to it properly. No amount of reviews can really help you with this CD - if I had read a description of the music (country/folk/soft rock) before hand, or the bands they are compared to, I never would have bought it. But I did, and I'm glad, as it is one of my favourite albums. Just try it. It's also worth noting that if you really want something rockier you can get Recovering the Sattelites, but this is the classic and really should be your first Counting Crows album.
on September 23, 2007
It's funny, revisiting an album in your new body with eyes and ears far aged from when you first encountered it (nay, became obsessed with it). such is the case with the Counting Crows deluxe edition of August and Everything After playing as I type this. They've cleaned up the masters and it does sound noticeably fuller. The extras are very nice from the demo-side and the complete concert from Paris in 1994.
But worth the entire somewhat overpriced cost of admission for the package is the liner notes. Adam's confessional tale of the signing, recording and subsequent shattering of the band from 1991 to December of 1994 (where the Disc 2 comes in) is an interesting and at times very emotional read. You forget how big Counting Crows actually was, and even more than that, you likely didn't know how close some of the musical families were (i.e. the idea of Adam Duritz at a backyard lunch with Frances Bean). The small tales are very much worth digesting, if sometimes over-written. It's probably best that Adam wrote these out instead of letting someone else interpret it in a syrupy documentary or fluffy autobiography. And while I didn't need a mini-poster of Adam in a pretty absurdly good photo shoot with some birds in motion, by the end of the notes you realize why it's there and it's pretty cool.
A nice double disc, and I'm glad I didn't do the iTunes thing, missing the liner notes.
August & Everything After is the amazing debut from Counting Crows. They mix the lyrical stylings of Van Morrison and the rustic sounds of The Band with a dash of U2 thrown in for good measure. But despite these obvious influences, they band has a fresh and unique sound all their own. Adam Duritz uses a sharp pen in his writing and he has one of the most soulful and expressive voices in music. He practically bleeds on songs like somber "Round Here", the condemning of suburban life of "Perfect Blue Buildings" and the gorgeous and lilting "Sullivan Street". "Anna Begins" is a sweet love song and "Rain King" has a soaring sound to it. "Murder Of One" closes the album in a U2-esque, spiritual like rocker. "Mr. Jones" was the breakout song from the album and the one that gained the band large airplay. It is an immediate classic with a memorable guitar riff and vivid lyrics. Mr. Duritz says he wants to Bob Dylan in the song and he comes damn close on the song. The album was an alternative to the alternative music that dominated the airways at the time. The album was heaped with well-deserved praise, as it is one of the ten best of the 90's.
on March 15, 2001
This album changed my life in many ways. Nothing overt, it's not like I heard this album and then suddenly I found Jesus or something. No, it was more like Adam helped me see things a bit more clearly. I know a lot of people identified with his sense of lonliness and isolation and I am no exception. I wish I could say that I empathize with him and not sound corny. When I first heard "Round Here" I literally stopped in my tracks, and to this day it still turns my head. There's something about his turn of phrase and haunting vocals that take me away to another time in my life. Once I heard the whole CD I played and I played it and I played it and I kept playing it for months I listened to practically nothing else because each time I would find something new, something that I had missed before and I would fall in love all over again. Every single song on this album, even "Ghost Train" which is my least favorite track is worth the price of this album. How many other albums can that be said about? I know this is not only my opinion because for a while back there, EVERYONE had a copy of this album and most people I know still do. They may not like the later albums, but they all have this one. It help give a voice to a part of society that feels lonely, isolated and afraid. One thing I want to stress is the WAY he sings it out to you. It comes from the depths of his soul, I can't believe he can even move after concerts the way he reaches down in and pulls it out and has all that bitterness, happiness, sadness, and lonliness bleed all over everyone and everything. If you understand what I am trying to say rather poorly here and you don't have this album, you need to hear it, honestly. This is something special, something precious and I am so grateful Adam shared his feelings with the world. I wish I could thank him and not sound like I am after something because that's all I want to do is just say "Thank you, I appreciate your time." I love Counting Crows, and it's not fair to say the band is just Adam, because he also surrounded himself with extremely talented musicians and you'd have to hear them live to truly understand what I am talking about. If I could give one album to everyone in the world, it would be this one.
on January 1, 2000
I hate reviews because outside of factual information all you have is opnion, and if someone disagrees with your opnion they like to grab facts and start sling.... So I'll just say, yeah... On this album, you can hear REM, Van Morrison, U2, if you want to strike off marks for unoriginality then go ahead... But none of those bands have ever put togeather an album this great, with every song containing epic songwriting on a Dylan scale and simplistic deep melodies that haunt you with the lryic (Sullvan Street, Time and Time Again), never have I ever felt an artist pain more... Where REM touched on with hits like "Losing My Religon" Counting Crows almost bring the listener to tears with tracks like "Raining In Baltimore". Every track is incredible bringing imagery to live, from the opener Round Here, Adam Duritz pulls the listener in and begins talking "Step out the frontdoor like a ghost into the fog where no notices the contrast of white on white/and in between the moon and you, the angels get a better view of the cumbling differences between wrong and right" from their your drawn into Adams world and with every song you can feel his emotions....
If you're just into listening to music and being happy, this one probably isn't for you, if you want to hear the work of a group of artist expressing themselfs, you won't be able to stop listening.
on September 20, 2007
If you're checking this special edition out, chances are you already know about the original album, so I won't talk about it. (If not, check it out...it's a classic, for sure.)
I'm not wild about the demos that follow the album on disc one. I suppose they're notable for historical reasons, to show where the band came from.
The live show on disc 2, on the other hand, is pretty spectacular. Supposedly, it's from the last show of the August & Everything After tour, a time I remember as being pretty difficult for the band (if the numerous show cancellations of the time period are any indication). The angst and energy really shows through...in particular, "Round Here" is as brilliant here as it's ever sounded.
My Biggest Complaint: I only wish the Deluxe Edition series would go down in price. $24 for two CDs? Maybe back in 1994 when this album first came out...
on March 6, 2006
Counting Crow's "August and Everything After" is a masterful debut album that has become a classic rock and roll album. The album's opening song "Round Here" sets the tone for the entire album, fantastic lyrical story-telling songs accompanied by simple, yet well rounded rock and roll instrumentation. In fact, the albums instrumentation, which includes Hammond B-3 organs and accordions (Omaha) and mandolins strings sprinkled in is in stark contrast to many of other stellar albums of this era, such Nirvana's "Nevermind", Pearl Jam's "Ten", and Soundgarden's "Superunknown". This contrasting sound, which seemed so out of place in 1993 and 1994, is what makes this album not only a 1990s classic, but a classic rock-and-roll album. "August and Everything After" is a wonderful "throw-back" album in an era of Grunge.
"August and Everything After" is one of those albums, such as "Joshua Tree", "Exile on Main Street", and "Who's Next" that needs to be listened to, track-by-track, in its entirety, to truly appreciate. Songs like "Anna Begins" build in intensity as the track progresses and the instrumentation and harmonizing builds to an anxious crescendo. By the end of the album, you are out of breath, probably in no small part because you've been singing along to most of the tunes while listening to this CD in your car while stuck in traffic.
Sure, there is no denying that "Mr. Jones" is a catchy pop song, but its simplistic rhythm guitar accompaniment also makes it a wonderful rock song that still sounds as fresh today as it did in summer of 1994 when it dominated the radio waves. Arguably, Adam Duritz and company have written far better individual songs since "August and Everything After" (such as "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby") and their song writing has matured (Hard Candy), but this album is a masterpiece that should be in any rock-and-roll fans "must have" collection.
I wanted to like this album. I really wanted to like it. When I first heard about its release, the first thing I did was come to Amazon to pre-order it. "August and Everything After" is one of the seminal albums of the 90s, and a deluxe edition seemed like it simply couldn't disappoint. But it does.
The first disc contains the original "August and Everything After", and a handful of demos. The demos are interesting to learn more about the genesis of the band. You can hear the beginnings of the songs that you know so well. With the exception of the inspired cover of "This Land Is Your Land", I'm not sure if they'll stand up to repeated listenings, but I can't complain about their inclusion on the album.
The second disc is a live recording. Counting Crows live is an experience not to be missed. They put on a great concert. But this just doesn't sound like it. One major problem is the mixing of the album. The vocals are much too far forward in the mix. The rest of the band sounds tight, but it's hard to tell because the vocals overpower everything. I was expecting something more along the lines of their live release "Bird on a Wire", which Is a fantastic live album. This one just doesn't measure up.
If you already have "August and Everything After" and if you're not a Counting Crows completist, I wouldn't recommend picking up this album. If you don't have that album, I'm not sure if I would recommend getting this one anyway. I don't think that it adds enough to the album to justify the difference in price between the original issue and this new deluxe edition.
on June 26, 2002
I don't have the patience to sit and type a long review, but I just want to encourage anyone out there who is thinking of buying this CD to do so. Counting Crows is not my favorite band (they're awesome, but not my favorite), but this just might be my favorite CD. It's a front-to-back beautiful, melodic, emotional experience - but mostly it's a musical experience. These are varied, musically interesting songs, some of which happen to be gut-wrenchingly lovely. Standout tracks are Omaha, Mr. Jones, Anna Begins (give it three full listens and you'll be hooked), Rain King, Sullivan Street, and A Murder of One. The other tracks are almost as phenomenal. "August..." hangs together as an album better than almost any other I can think of. Just so you know my musical tastes - two other favorite single albums are R.E.M., "Automatic for the People" and Weezer's blue album. Still, even if you don't like those, give this one a try. My entire family adores it, and I recommend it unconditionally.
on February 26, 2006
Has it really been 12 years since this came out? I remember buying this and wanting more, and I waited forever for "recovering the satelites' to come out. The band has since released four studio efforts (plus a live and a best of), and this remains their highlight. I said in my review of Smashing Pumpkins' "Mellon Collie" that either that or this may be my fav cd of all time, so I'll mention it again. I mean, this is the album that got me off of that mainstream country (or should I say, rock-a-billy) mumbo-jumbo. So many memories that come from this disc, but I'll save them and stick to the review:
1.Round Here-Huge success. If u can, also check out ultra-rare accoustic version, a b-side to "rain king)
2.Omaha-Think I screwd up the spelling, oh well, nice little acoustic song, this is counting crows' roots.
3.Mr. Jones-Gawd, I used to drive my parents crazy playing this song over and over. They compared Adam's voice to a potential bowel movement, I believe. Oh well, they're old
4.Perfect Blue Buildings-hmmmmmmmmmm, always listened to, always been kinda neutral about it. Nice and chill, I guess
5.Ana Begins-This is definately relatable, especially to someone in junior high (which I was when I bought it). Takes on new meaning as you get older.
6.Time and Time Again-I love how the song changed moderately in the middle. Like the lyrics.
7.Rain King-Classic hit and veeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrry relatable for a guy who was never really recognized of existance that much in high school.
8.Sullivan St.-Nice ballad, I've also heard this referred to as "drowning." Not sure where.
9.Ghost Train-The bigginning is definatelly eerie with the train sounds. Good track, but the live version kicks this one's a**!
10.Raining In Baltimore-This track used to bore me to tears, but once I put down my guitar and started learning some solo piano like this, I deemed it a crows' classic.
11.A Murder Of One-Ah, my personal fav., great way to end the album. If I cried on a regular basis (i never do), this would still make me weep.
I dunno if Adam Duritz still wants to be Bob Dylan, but truth be known I really can't say enough 'bout this album, so I won't even try. Hope they come out with a new release soon!