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