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Two discs, 59, 61 minutes each approximately. The sound is very crisp and punchy. The separation between the vocals and instruments is very good. This is one of the best sounding albums the group have ever released. From the delicate sound of the mandolin, to deep bass notes-every instrument has its place. The discs are slipped in, bare, inside a four-part, fold-out cardboard sleeve. The graphics inside consist of a color drawing of trees in a forest, with a "stand-up" feature of two crows-a nice touch. There's no booklet for this release. Song titles, band members, and recording information are on the holder itself.

This set, with songs based largely on acoustic arrangements (some tracks have electric instruments), is full of the rhythm and swagger THE BLACK CROWES are known for. If anyone thinks this is some kind of sleepy/hippie/laid back/ acoustic set-forget it. This is prime BLACK CROWES doing what they do best. Chris Robinson's vocals are center stage, and his time-worn voice carries these songs into another realm. The band makes good use of acoustic guitars and a pumping, yet sympathetic rhythm section to create a foundation for Robinson's voice. The use of electric guitars (and occasionally pedal steel, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle) in the mix add depth and emotion to the arrangements. The piano is an essential part of a number of these tracks-echoing Robinson's plaintive vocals.

A few highlights. The opening track "Jealous Again", is a stomping, rolling rock 'n' roll song in the best tradition of the Crowes. Chris Robinson's voice jumps out of the speakers almost immediately, and the female backing singers fit in seamlessly along with the acoustic and electric guitars. "Share The Ride" sounds like a harder version of something Levon Helm might sing. Third track "Remedy", is THE BLACK CROWES like long time listeners know them-straight ahead, bluesy rock 'n' roll. The beautiful "Non-Fiction" is a combination of the bands harder stance vocally, yet the arrangement is full of delicate acoustic guitars. This long track (almost 8 minutes) winds down beautifully to almost nothing-like watching smoke disappear in the air. With "Hotel Illness", the band is once again back in full swaggering form. The simple beat, the harmonica, the hand-claps, and all the guitars weave a dense sound for Robinson's voice and perfectly arranged electric guitar fills. The long (over 9 minutes) atmospheric song "Wiser Time", shows how far the band has come from the "Shake Your Money Maker" era (which I like), with an arrangement that is subtle yet is musically intricate.

The second disc starts off with the well known "She Talks To Angels", which with mandolin and pedal steel in the mix of guitars, gives this track an extra edge. "Morning Song" begins with the sound of the band counting off and tentatively beginning to play the opening notes, which gives the feeling of being in the studio while this was recorded. This is THE BLACK CROWES in full gospel mode. The bass and drums, the piano, the background vocals, all combine in an almost over-whelming fervor of gospel sound. "Good Friday", with its plaintive vocal and harmonica, is one of the better ballads on the album. Nothing fancy-its subtle arrangement is very emotive. "Thorn In My Pride" is the sound of the band jamming on acoustic guitars, with Robinson's vocal backed up by female backing singers to good effect. "Girl From A Pawnshop", with mandolin, fiddle, and acoustic guitars, has a country feel to it. The combination of an expressive lead vocal with female backing singers fits the song's feel perfectly. "Sister Luck" has a ROLLING STONES/"Exile On Main Street" era sound and feel, with the subtle arrangement, including bottle neck guitar another highlight of the album. The final track, "Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye", is a ballad that is played and sung in the best BLACK CROWES tradition, and is a fitting end to a powerful collection of songs.

This album, apparently the last for some time, is proof positive that THE BLACK CROWES still have that certain "something" that other bands can only wish for. The fact that this is a double album-at a low price, speaks volumes about the band. But its in the music, the vocals, and the overall feel of these songs, where the band shows that they can deliver a collection of heartfelt songs. From good time, bluesy rock 'n' roll, to delicately arranged ballads, to pumping gospel-its all here. This set of songs sees the band bringing their sound in closer, yet all the visceral, emotional, and exciting musical feel is still readily apparent. Quite a combination. Everyone will have favorites on this collection, and its a testament to the band that the many moods heard here all sound authentic. Its a shame that the band is disappearing from the scene for some time. On hearing this release you, too, will have to agree.
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on August 3, 2010
Well here it is, Croweology in all its glory. When I first heard about the idea for this album I really didn't know how I was going to like it. I mean, how do you take great songs, re-record them acoustically and make them as good or better than the originals. Well folks, the Crowes did it! They have stripped these songs down to their basics and let their inner beauty shine! This album is as much a testament to the quality of the songs as it is to the band's musical ability. There is no smoke and mirrors here...these are top-notch musicians doing what they do best...expressing themselves through their music. There isn't a bad track on the album! "Share the Ride" grabbed my attention first, it starts with some cheesy drum machine kick and snare...and you think, "What the ...", but hang on it draws you in and becomes a fun ride. "Soul Singing', one of my favorite Crowes' songs grooves and moves as well as the original. "Ballad in Urgency / Wiser Time" are not that far removed from the originals, but just purer in its delivery.
There really isn't a need to do a song by song review here, because I would be saying the same thing over and over...great music! Croweology is a perfect example of less is more. The band demonstrates that you don't need all the effects and electric instruments to make great rock-n-roll. Buy this album with confidence and be thankful that we have had these dirty-birds singing to us for the past 20 years.
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on August 3, 2010
Once again the Black Crowes have outdone themseleves.

We are looking at a 20 song, greatest hits album which comprises of 19 songs culminating from the first 6 albums and one cover (She by Graham Parsons). Every song has been recorded live and acousic. I got my copy on Friday and haven't put it down since. The versions of "Thorn In My Pride" & "Downtown Money Waster" are ridiculous! Including "Share The Ride" & "Morning Song" are 2 songs that are completely different from the original version, but are totally awesome. Not a bad song on the album.

I've seen the Crowes 4 times in the last 3 years, and will again when they hit Philly in October. Since adding Luther & Adam, the Black Crowes have just gotten better. The only negative is the long hiatis promised after the tour. I completely understand though...after 3 albums, 2 DVD's and basically non-stop touring over the last 4 years, I'd be pretty darn tired. These boys have earned the right to take a break and enjoy some of that hard earned money. I look foward to the next release! Thanks again for all of the wonderful music!
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on November 8, 2013
It pains me to give 3 stars to this.

This rendition, for the most part, just never resonated with me. I love every crowes album from beginning to end and feel the band has evolved like a fine wine. Until the Frost/before the freeze was just amazing..and very thankful for the awesome Cabin Fever video that accompanied the release. It took me a few listens to realize that, as opposed to Southern Harmony, which hits you over the head with a sledgehammer of rock.

I've also been seeing the Crowes live every chance I get since 1992, as every show is different (unless it's at a casino..haha). I too love CR solo material/tours. My least fav songs to see live are She talks to Angels and Hard to Handle..overplayed, mass audience stuff. Good songs, but they get old to me. I know the casual fans dig it though, so that's ok.

This CD just doesn't appeal to me. Feels kinda meh on most songs. Effort vocally seems not the usual inspired Chris for some reason. Less emotional and more going through the motions.

For the record, I even like By your side/lions, which many fans seem to dislike. I think some of their best songs came off BYS like Virtue and Vice, Heavy, Horsehead, & Go tell the Congregation. I like that every album is a different flavor. I came to love Luther's slide, and was sad to see him go.

If you are new to the crowes, I wouldn't recommend this as a first album for sure. Die hards might like it...and I'm a die hard, but never feel like listening to this one. I even found myself skipping and shutting it off in the car and I never do that w/crowes music. The reason I'm writing this review, is because this is the first ever Crowes release I'm putting on ebay. I cherish the rest.

Since others ranked, here is my list. It's hard to rank really..they are all so good. If you want a good live performance get Freak n Roll into the fog. Awesome DVD w/ Great sound and HD video. I think that was the peak of the Marc Ford year(s).

Southern Harmony
Before the Frost/Until the Freeze
Amorica
By your side
3 Snakes
Warpaint
Shake your money maker
Lost Crowes
Lions
Live 2002
Croweology
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on April 19, 2013
This has a little of everything. It is an acoustic set. I was expecting the original songs but I found I liked this far better. I have played it so many times.
When I play the regular Crow cd's I always dig to find this one.
A must for Black Crow fans.
2 cd's.
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on August 16, 2010
An opportunity to hear some new perspectives on older songs that you know and love! I personally think 'Before the Frost ...' is their best record since 'Southern Harmony,' and this awesome record spanning their career just adds to their greatness. I got this for $7.99 on Amazon, who can beat that? Buy it if you're thinking about it!
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on December 3, 2010
I listen to lots of different artists and I have a wide variety of musical tastes, so I almost feel like some sort of musical aficonado, though I don't know what qualifies as one. I do however know what qualifies as a "KeyStone album" and I think this one will qualify. A keystone album is a jewel that no record collection should be with out.
You can here the age creeping into Chris Robinsons voice, road weary and little less falsetto than he may have jammed in there 10 years ago. Sort of like how you'd expect him to sound after 10,000 shows. He is aging gracefully (his voice) sort of like Robert Plant, he knows he can't hit those high notes like he used to but he still sounds great.
With younger brother Rich and the rock solid Steve Gorman on drums as well as the rest of the band, re-work these older songs to a stripped down version or an entirely differnet feel by changing tempo's and timing to make the songs feel fresh. It's like a great cover band doing justice to an already great body or great bodies of work. Only this band is covering their own songs. Tha's how every artist should approach a greatest hits album, like they are a cover or tribute band . . . Like this album, Croweology.
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on June 25, 2014
Love the idea of this album, a stripped down, acoustic in-the-studio recording of many of the bands greatest hits. And the Black Crowes would seem to be the perfect band for this type of project. However, it just falls flat to me. Robinson's voice isn't cutting it and the versions just don't come to life like I had hoped.
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on October 31, 2011
Ah the Crowes. Such throwbacks -- 20 years ago (my god, has it really been that long?) they were reveling in raucous retro-roots-rock, when everyone else was recording ballads on all-acoustic albums. Times change, and the Crowes have too, but they are still about 20 years behind with Croweology, the obligatory "classics live mostly-acoustic" album.

Funny thing is, the idea actually works. This is one epic, meandering joy ride of an album with something for everyone, even only casual fans. The professional reviewers want to talk about a "ragged" sound, which I suppose is accurate, if a little misleading. What Croweology really feels like is a very well produced live album -- recorded by a band that certainly still knows how to ride a groove when they find one, and they riff over these classics with gusto. Some are hits, some are favorites, and some are also-rans that here have new coats of paint.

The versions of hits like Jealous Again, Remedy, She Talks To Angels, and Soul Singing that appear here are really well done alternate takes, and I actually rather prefer this album's version of a couple of them to the originals. The renditions of Share the Ride, Non-Fiction, Hotel Illness, Morning Song, and Sister Luck are fantastic, tight grooves. The band also stretches out into indulgent extended jams on Ballad of Urgency, Wiser Time and Thorn in My Pride -- all three come in at over 9 minutes, which seems horribly long on paper, but somehow doesn't get old when listening.

If there's a weak spot, it's at the very end... the version of Bad Luck Blue Eyes included here is kind of sub-standard -- which is a shame because Bad Luck has long been one of my favorites. I'm not really surprised though -- I've heard several alternate recordings of this one, and none are as good as the original. The problem seems to be, here as always, that Chris Robinson just shreds his voice early on, and doesn't have anything left by the conclusion. I give them a miss on this one, but an album that should go out with a bang, sort of goes out with a whimper.

In short, Croweology is a wonderful album, and has the feel of a "live" performance in more ways than one... in this era of albums produced as a loosely-bound collection of downloadable singles, Croweology really works as an album in the traditional sense. The tracks flow together well, particularly the break between Ballad of Urgency and Wiser Time -- these run together almost like one long track. There's no need for shuffle-mode here. Overall, an excellent album, a treat for big fans like me, enjoyable for casual fans like my wife, and a decent hook for those who are unfamiliar with the band
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on December 10, 2013
It's not as if this album is bad because it most surely is not. The problem is that these versions of these songs are not better than the original ones, thus,rendering this album unnecessary. I love the Black Crowes & Chris' voice still sounds great but this album was underwhelming for me.
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