April 3, 2008

Test Spin: Counting Crows

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It’s been six years since Counting Crows released Hard Candy, its last full-length album, and soft-rock aficionados are praying it was worth the wait. At first, a determination is hard to reach, since Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings takes a unique approach. It is split into two halves; part one, reminiscent of a Saturday night, is more rock-oriented than fans are probably used to, and part two is more laid back than is typical of Counting Crows, like a Sunday morning (get it?). After a second listen, the music makes more sense, though. Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings is a division of the band’s composite sound of rock and unplugged crooning, each showcased in its own light, which makes this album different from its predecessors. The album ends in a triumphant culmination of the two halves in the song “Come Around,” a reminder to fans that they waited so long for a reason. Counting Crows has done it again, and this time with a little more artistic freedom to explore its own sound.