If I Could Give All My Love (Richard Manuel Is Dead)
Butterfly In Reverse
Black And Blue
Why Should You Come When I Call?
Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes To Hollywood)
Holiday In Spain
Big Yellow Taxi
Hard Candy is, most certainly, just another Counting Crows album. But it's difficult to imagine that there's ever going to be too many. For a band that formed during the grunge-dominated early 1990s, Counting Crows did som... more »ething remarkably brave--though they helped themselves to the same legacy of 1970s and '80s FM radio rock as the Seattle groups, they chose not to subvert it with any punk influences. Counting Crows were determined to play Steve Miller and Tom Petty and Bruce Hornsby at their own game, and Hard Candy is the fourth astonishing album that has resulted. Counting Crows have now settled into a template with which they clearly feel comfortable--simple but elaborately orchestrated songs, buffed and polished to a high sheen, which serve as a glittering backdrop to Adam Duritz's lyrics. These, now as ever, are chiefly concerned with excitingly unattainable women and the roads he travels to get to or away from them. He tantalizes, as he often does, with specific names and places, but is never so solipsistic that the songs are robbed of a universal appeal. --Andrew Mueller« less
Hard Candy is, most certainly, just another Counting Crows album. But it's difficult to imagine that there's ever going to be too many. For a band that formed during the grunge-dominated early 1990s, Counting Crows did something remarkably brave--though they helped themselves to the same legacy of 1970s and '80s FM radio rock as the Seattle groups, they chose not to subvert it with any punk influences. Counting Crows were determined to play Steve Miller and Tom Petty and Bruce Hornsby at their own game, and Hard Candy is the fourth astonishing album that has resulted. Counting Crows have now settled into a template with which they clearly feel comfortable--simple but elaborately orchestrated songs, buffed and polished to a high sheen, which serve as a glittering backdrop to Adam Duritz's lyrics. These, now as ever, are chiefly concerned with excitingly unattainable women and the roads he travels to get to or away from them. He tantalizes, as he often does, with specific names and places, but is never so solipsistic that the songs are robbed of a universal appeal. --Andrew Mueller
"The Counting Crows have proven themselves masters of sophisticated pop music and on Hard Candy they continue to deliver the goods. Adam Duritz, the group's lead singer and primary lyricist, has said that Hard Candy is a return to form, harkening back to 1993's critically lauded August and Everything After. In my opinion, this holds true.Steve Lillywhite's (producer for U2, Dave Matthews Band) influence can be felt throughout the album, giving the songs a certain internal strength that the Crow's last two albums (This Desert Life and Recovering the Satellites) failed to elucidate. Lillywhite's genius is that he was able to rope in the passion of the Counting Crows, holding the rope taut, not allowing Duritz and company to meander into the maudlin and the mundane, which they have a tendency to do.Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to infer that Lillywhite is the man behind the curtain. On the contrary, the Counting Crows are a band hitting their stride. Duritz's lyrics are confident and playful, while his bandmates' musicianship is virtually unparalelled in rock and roll.The title track, Hard Candy, is a beautiful, tight pop song, while the first single off the album, American Girls, is an amalgamation of Tom Petty and Big Star, a killer combination if there ever was one. The rest of the album is filled with poetic, perfect little pop songs sprinkled with show tune gusto, fervid lyrics, and climactic guitars.If you're a Counting Crows fan you will not be disappointed. Come to speak of it, if you're not a Counting Crows fan, this album will make you one."
This could be THE BEST album of the year 2002
Aaron Blight | Westminster, Maryland United States | 07/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With Hard Candy, the Counting Crows have released a package of songs that follow the band's proven, successful musical format. All the hallmarks of Counting Crows music are here: the passionately sorrowful vocals of Adam Duritz; poetic, semi-accessible lyrics; vigorous musicianship from the band; and the meticulous production of each track. Putting these elements together, the final result is an album that sounds earnest, refined, and engaging, a product clearly born from a set of veteran musicians who have been around for a long time but haven't lost the focus on their art, even in the wake of huge commercial success. Hard Candy is in my opinion one of the best albums released in 2002. I'm uncertain why "American Girls" was the first single issued off Hard Candy because even though it's a good song, it's not the best or most commercially viable tune on the album. "New Frontier," with its infectious hooks and rhythmic beat, seems destined for the radio. The title track and "If I Could Give All My Love" also have the potential to become hit singles. Like any Counting Crows album, however, the music you may hear on the radio is only the beginning of what Hard Candy offers. "Carriage" is a soft and poignant track enhanced by the reflective, sad bars of a trumpet. "Miami" is a magnificent, compelling tune that finishes off with Adam Duritz's trademark rambling, improvisational-type singing. This is one of the elements I love so much about Counting Crows music: nobody compares to Adam Duritz when he digresses into one of his passionate, almost random, imperfect singing soliloquys. This album has enough of those moments to give the music a relaxed but intense feel. In fact, on Hard Candy, the Counting Crows effortlessly glide through complex musical compositions, revealing the kind confidence and grace found only in seasoned, successful musicians. Counting Crows began their musical career as a group of talented musicians led by a very promising songwriter. The experience and massive exposure the group has received over the years only enhances the band's musical sensibilities. If you liked previous Counting Crows albums, I think you would enjoy Hard Candy. This is another masterwork from one of my very favorite bands."
Another fantastic album, but in "13 Fresh New Flavors"
Kevin J. Scheitrum | Boston, MA USA | 07/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yet again, my favorite band comes through with a masterpiece. This one, though, is a reinvention of their wonderful sound. They seem to have strayed away from their Roots-Rock roots...and have done it impeccably. Adam's words have never been stronger, and the sound has never been crisper. The songs still have that same strong voice that speaks to me, whatever mood I'm in. It's still poetry, set to music.
They seem to have become poppier, but don't be fooled...they have not by any means sold out. The album has a distinctly summer feel, but with some other dirges, of course (what CC album would be complete without the sad ones, anyway?). This summer feel is in stark contrast to the Autumnal and Winter feels of "August & Everything After" and "Recovering the Satellites", and it's even a little poppier than "This Desert Life."
It seems like the gang has started to come out of all those previous sad times and experiences that made us love them, with their previous albums. They seem to have emerged wiser, and "Hard Candy" has a very mature, and experienced feel. Adam himself has said that this album is a lot about memory, and now, he's taking the time to reflect on all of it, and thank God he's sharing that reflection with us.
I still have to listen to it another hundred times to get the full feel of it, but it's far on the way to being not only one of the finest Crows albums, but one of the finest albums of the past few years, period."
Addicting and Wonderful
Kelly | St. Louis, MO USA | 08/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another great album by the Counting Crows. I have 3 copies (home, car, office) and I will probably wear them all out. To me this album was fun, sad, captivating, lyrically & musically superior to any new album I have heard recently. It took only about 3 turns in my CD player until I realized how completely addicted I am to this album. My 6 year old daughter knows the words to every single song. I'd say my 3 year wait was worth every minute. Just a note: as other people have mentioned in their reviews, if you are looking for another August and Everything After, you will not find it here. My comment to that would be: if you are a Counting Crows fan and you happen to have August.....(their 1st) and Hard Candy (most recent) and any or all in between, you will know that NONE of their albums sound the same. (A true CCs fan will also know Adam will make these songs sound just a tad different in concert, as well. A true fan will also note "American Girls" is a little different version on the radio than on the CD. And a just got lucky to catch them on Conan, Leno, etc. fan will hear a different version than on the CD. They are always changing.) As the Counting Crows as a band and each member individually grow and change, so does their music. That is the beauty of the Counting Crows, plain and simple."
A musical movement showing a diverse band
Laurence Doyle | Surrey United Kingdom | 05/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a fan of Counting Crows ever since August and Everything after was released in 1990, and since then I've never looked back.
Through their times, I've seen them change their spectrum from album to album (AAEA - A rawer, fresh sounds, Recovering the Satellites - A more rock influenced album, This Desert Life - A more surreal music experience.) With this they change again.
They have moved into a mixture of pop-rock, but unlike the normal drivel heard on the radio, undercutting this album are beautiful lyrics and haunting melodies.1) Hard Candy - 5*A smooth, catchy song. Upbeat with excellent lyrics and beautiful lyrics. An very impressive start to the album2) American Girls - 4*Slightly too pop influenced for me, nevertheless a stirling effort in a track which will have great radio appeal and shall appeal to a wide audience. Predominantely guitar influenced, it's a track that will keep your toes tapping for hours3) Good Time - 4*A melancholy, effects driven song remeniscent of their old relaxing music from AAEA ('Perfect Blue Buildings', 'Time and time again'), this track is a really beautiful, mellow journey through the life of a couple on the edge4) Richard Manual is Dead - 5*A catchy guitar riff, nice backing music and great vocal ability, this track is one which you can't get out of your head no matter how hard you may try!5)Goodnight LA - 5*An atmospheric, relaxing piece which shows the maturity of the band. Catchy and brilliant6) Butterfly in Reverse - 3*A song co-writen with Ryan Adams, and one of the weaker ones on the album. Despite the happy-go-lucky, abstract lyrics, the song itself falls a little short. Still a nice piece7) Miami - 5*Fantastic atmosphere, amazing electric guitar solo and brilliant lyrical and vocal prowess from Adam Duritz. A great song, in my opinion 2nd best on the album8) New Frontier - 4*Keyboard-synthesised pop tune, with cathy lyrics and vocals. A good song, not outstanding but well worth a listen or two9) Carriage - 3*Not the strongest of the album again; a mellow acoustic guitar song, with amazingly insiteful lyrics, but occasionally straying towards slightly boring10) Black and Blue - 5*A piano based tune; Duritz has the amazing ability of making all his piano tunes exceptional, and this is the same as the rest. Lovely winding melodies complimented by nice piano work and excellent vocal work11) Why should you come when I call - 4*Slightly outdated, but nevertheless effective; again a more light-hearted, poppy tune with happy backing vocals. Listen out for the 'bah da bah' backing!12) Up all Night - 10*!My personal favorite on the album; hard driven guitar mixed with melodic piano and (strangely) bongo drums! Excellent lyrics and vocals; this is a soporific tune to listen to over and over again13)Holiday in Spain - 5*Another relaxed piano tune, remeniscent of Colourblind. Beautifully mellow, and incredibly atmospheric, one of the higlights of the album14) Big Yello Taxi - 5*The album's most famous single (due to being on the film 2 Week's Notice and being a cover of Mitchell's original) is covered very nicely with an upbeat guitar and nice backing vocals from Vanessa CarltonWhen all is said and done, another direction has been achieved by the Crows, and it produced a very good album indeed. I await the next eagerly!"