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Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings [ECOPAK]

145 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 25, 2008
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Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings [ECOPAK] + This Desert Life + Hard Candy
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Product Description

2008 album from Adam Duritz and the boys, an album that embraces the menacing vibes of Saturday Night and the more contemplative moments of a Sunday morning. Saturday Nights, the album's angry, electric, dissolute opening salvo was produced by Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters), a longtime friend and associate of the band who previously produced their second album Recovering The Satellites. Sunday Mornings, the more acoustic and Folk-influenced side of the album was produced by Brian Deck whose past credits include Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine. Features the single 'You Can't Count On Me'.

Given the churning tides of fashion and fate, six years can often feel more like an eternity in pop music. Yet Counting Crows' first studio album since 2002 bristles with an urgent energy that makes their creative restlessness almost palpable. The Crows haven't so much reinvented their roots-conscious ethos here, as shrewdly divided it along the album title's thematic lines: "Saturday night is when you sin," explains singer Adam Durwitz "and Sunday is when you regret. Sinning is often done very loudly, angrily, bitterly, violently." Thus, the band indulges itself in a raucously loose-limbed opening half that freewheels from the snarling Gil Norton/Steve Lillywhite produced blast at betrayal "1492," through a Stones-y, left-handed country-rock ode to "Los Angeles," and the irony of "Sundays"' no less pop-savvy angst. That mood shifts dramatically with the opening acoustic guitar notes of the lovely "Washington Square," heralding a mood of reflective redemption that characterizes the album's closing chapter that showcases the band's potent folk sensibility via the earthy studio aura of Modest Mouse/Iron & Wine producer Brian Deck. If it's only half the long-rumored "unplugged" album so many Crows' fans have anticipated, Durwitz's ever soulful lyrical intrigues, the songs' far-ranging moods and adventurous sonic textures - which encompass the spare, haunting beauty of "Le Ballet d'Or," and even a little of Brian Wilson's harmonic glories on the close of "Anyone But You" - deliver so much more. --Jerry McCulley

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000WMGDD4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,959 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Brian Hartman on March 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Counting Crows were somewhat written off after 2002's Hard Candy. Adam Duritz and the rest of the band, in that CD, put out a self-consciously pop CD, without a lot of meat on it. Then you had the infamous Coke commercial, and Shrek 2, which earned them an Oscar nomination but no accolades for credibility.

Well, on Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, Counting Crows proves that they're not out of ideas, and haven't lost their drive. This is a fantastic CD that basically melds the folk sounds of August and Everything After with the harder edge and pathos of Recovering the Satellites.

If you're reading this review, you probably know by now the basic concept of the album: It's divided into a Saturday Nights portion and a Sunday Mornings portion. Saturday nights is when you sin, loudly and angrily. This "side" contains mostly electric guitar anger and bitterness, as the protagonist (i.e., Adam Duritz) slides deeper and deeper into depression and loss of self. The Sunday Mornings "side" contains songs of recovery, of trying to put your life back together. (The emphasis is on *trying*. Only in the final song, "Come Around", is there any kind of faint glimmer of hope on this CD.)

Here's how the songs pan out:

Saturday Nights:

1) 1492 -- This is a song about losing yourself in the party scene. It's about the meaninglessness of casual (if not anonymous) sex with Italian models and careening through the underbelly of night life like a drunken Arthur Rimbaud. And it's about all the "people who impersonate our friends" you meet along the way. You can download this as part of a "digital 45" from their site, so I won't bother describing it for you. 7/10.

2) Hanging Tree -- This is one of the best songs on the CD.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful By evanjamesroskos VINE VOICE on March 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've had a soft spot for Counting Crows, despite being a music snob (according to my wife, anyway). There's just something perfectly enjoyable about the music and lyrics. I've always felt Duritz was a great lyricist, even though he seems to come across as self-obsessed (his songs never seem to embody characters and so many of them are are about "looking at me" that it's hard to see any identities in the songs); his biggest weakness as a writer/singer is his proclivity to repeat certain phrases too many times. "American Girls" suffers from this a lot; on this album "Hanging Tree" has some annoying repetition. But his use of place and strange strings of imagery are always satisfying.

I've always held their first two albums as my favorites (both have different strengths). Saturday Nights... is quite strong, though it's not necessarily anything new or exciting. I think 1492, Insignificant, and Cowboys would make it onto any Crows mix I make from now on. "When I Dream of Michaelangelo" is a great call back to "Angels of the Silences" on album 2. "Sundays" moves from chipper to a more emotional chorus. And the band doesn't lose a chance to rock out when necessary.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Wendy A. Tedesco on March 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
We've waited 15 years for this! Finally, an album that has more of an "August and Everything After" feel! That is that Counting Crows freshman release that we all fell in love with. For Gen Xer's like myself, AAEA was a soundtrack to our awkward transitional years and will always hold a special place in our music loving hearts!

This album will replace "Recovering the Satellites" for those of you who ranked it as second best in your CC collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. STEVENS on April 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Let me start off by saying I am not a BIG Counting Crows fan. Don't get me wrong, I loved their debut album "August & Everything After", (a masterpiece) but everything since than has been a drop in notch. And without great songs and music, lead singer Adam Duritz's voice just gets boring album after album. But finally, with "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings", the band has hit a more unique hard rockin and bluesy style and better yet, the songs are VERY good. Not just lyrics which have always been profound and dark, but the music and the instrumentation is fantastic! Every song is catchy! Adam's voice is being put to VERY good use here, this is material aorthy of the artist and the band. The experimentation done on this album was a big winner! I know some people liked the album "Recovering the Satellites", which certaintly had some good songs, but for me the album was uneven. So I'll go out on a limb and say the new CD is the best releases since "August And Everything After". That's because every song is good, it's good all the way through. The style is catchy, after several listens, I still like the sound of it! I see it started off number three on the billboard charts, I hope that a lot of people will appreciate Counting Crows return to form. This album should be a comeback for the band!
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By D. H. Paull on April 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
ok, why are you all praising this album? Best since Satellites? Ok, so Hard Candy saw a decrease in the lyrical genius of Adam, but it's still got great music and is a good album if you delete that one bad song (I hate Maryann, whoever she is) - so what it's a bit pop-y. then they say comparable to August? bah. What are they thinking? This is their worst album and it's only got a couple decent cuts.

Here's where I'm coming from: I'm a dedicated fan. Seen the Crows in concert 8 times (5 since 2000), and every time I think it's the best concert I've ever seen (not limited to crows). I think the evolution in their music is amazing - how can they keep making great songs even better. Their last tour included a version of Rain King that topped the "New Amsterdam" version, which bested both "Across a wire" versions which far outstripped the album version which is a fantastic song. I think every song they've recorded is at least good (with the aforementioned exception), and all their studio albums are great to listen all the way through. I think their best 5 recorded songs are: Round here (Across a wire cd 2), Perfect blue buildings (New Amsterdam), Anna Begins (Across a wire cd 1) Hanging around (New Amsterdam), Up all night (Hard Candy). Of course if you're a fan of these songs too, you've already bought this album, so I guess I'm just venting.

Ok, so back to Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. I guess I just had high expectations. Today, I expected to see a bunch of ratings trashing this album when I came on here to do that. But no. I can't understand. I've tried to like this album. I've tried very hard. But I think I would be embarrassed to play it in my car. It's got some annoying sections, some bad lyrics, and some worse vocals. It's got almost no emotion.
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I'm really looking forward to this one!
I just came from the "free at noon" concert they did for World Cafe Live. They only played songs from the new album and they were all good.

You can listen to the full 45 minute set here:

The show was really good --... Read More
Feb 8, 2008 by hmonkeyruns |  See all 15 posts
The CD is in a digipak. There are 14 songs listed on the Amazon US version. (There could be more on the CD. The band has been known to put hidden tracks on their CDs. I haven't heard of any hidden tracks on the European copies, though, so I'd imagine that there aren't any on the US CD).
Mar 24, 2008 by Brian Hartman |  See all 6 posts
Bonus Tracks?
Nope. I bought my hard copy at Best Buy and it has no bonus songs. If you buy it from iTunes now you get those two, but if you pre-ordered it from iTunes you also get "There Goes Everything" and an acoustic version of "Come Around."
Mar 30, 2008 by C. Stepp |  See all 3 posts
How are the 4 bonus tracks that you got from itunes?
Mar 25, 2008 by K. Cady |  See all 4 posts
whats your favortite song?
yes i agree but i also like los angeles and cowboys
Mar 30, 2008 by Edward G. Byczynski |  See all 7 posts
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