1.) Hard Candy: 4/5
Kicks off with a catchy guitar riff that sounds a little like their song "Round Here" but much more uplifting. Great lyrics...great melody catchy chorus. More poppy than most of their previous efforts but that doesn't make it any less great. "When you sleep you find your mother in the night, but she stays just out of site so there isnt any sweetness in the dream."
2.) American Girls: 4/5
One of the crows most poppy songs. But still its great...we got Sheryl Crow on back up vocals. Kicks off with a drum fill then a catchy guitar riff then we get into Adam's vocals. The Bridge of the song is really awesome where you can really feel the emotion as he sings. A great song.
3.) Good Time: 4/5
A really bluesy/funky sounding song. It kicks off with a guitar lick with a wah-pedal effect. Then we get into a mainly drum based verse with Adam Duritz describing a man talking to a girl. Nice Chorus "He just wants have a good time...just like everybody else." Also in this song they break out the banjo which sounds pretty good. One of the songs that would fit in with the crows older songs.
4.) Richard Manuel is Dead/If I Could Give All My Love To You: 4/5
Kicks off with a loud...suprisingly happy riff that mixes with rock/pop/and blues. Then we go into a sadder piano/guitar based verse. Quickly followed by a catchy chorus "If I could give all my love to you..I could justify myself." And some info Richard Manuel was the member of "The Band" whom Adam Duritz was a big fan of.
5.) Goodnight L.A.: 5/5
AWESOME SONG! My favourite song on the album. This song is completley driven by Adam Duritz's amazing voice, with the piano, guitar, bass, drums, and other instruments simply behind it. The chorus is simply amazing...the incredible melody and singing of Adam Duritz is really shown in here. Lots of Emotion during the last minute of the song.
6.) Butterfly in Reverse: 3.5/5
Co-Written by Ryan Adams again a fairly poppy song. But it also has something else to it. With the string instruments that adds character to it. Has a really great vocal melody, and great singing from both writers. Very soothing song.
7.) Miami: 5/5
One of my favourite songs on the album. Starts out with an electronic sounding drum beat, then the beat changes and light strumming comes in soon followed by Duritz's haunting vocals. "Guess I think..I feel alright, you come circling through the night." A very somber song, and also a very great song. It's mainly a drum/guitar song but some stringed instruments can be heard. Has some great lyrics, particularly in the second verse "It just gets hard to believe...that god sent this angel to watch over me, cause my angel...she don't receive my calls...says im to dumb to buck, to dumb to fight, to dumb to save, maybe I dont need no angel at all." Pretty nice guitar solo :) really adds to the song.
8.) New Frontier: 3.5/5
Totally different from any song on the album. It's one of the most up-tempo and just sounds very psychadellic musically speaking. The lyrics are talking about perfect people, stardom, celebrities. When I first heard the song I didn't really like it, but now it's grown on me and is a welcome addition to the counting crows cataloge.
9.) Carriage: 3.5/5
Nice gentle song with some great acoustic guitar work, behind the sad vocals from Duritz. As always you can hear the emotion behind his voice. Has some good brass instrumental parts. Reminds of another song by them called chelsea.
10.) Black and Blue: 5/5
Another one of my favourites, starts out with a sad sounding piano piece and gets much sadder as Adam's voice comes in. "Fading everything to black, and blue...you look alot like you...shatter in the blink of an eye...you keep sailing right on through." An amazingly written song, both lyrically and musically. The music fits the words and singing so perfectly it's hard to believe. And the background vocals are also fantastic and add alot to the song.
11.) Why Should You Come When I Call: 4.5/5
Starts out with a weird sounding intro, then we get a little drum fill and we go right into the verse that's both jumpy and somber. A toe tapping drum beat, and some nice soothing guitar, and vocals. And a great sing-a-long chorus. "Why should you come when I call...I never say nothing at all." Has one of the best vocal melodies on the album.
12.) Up All Night: 5/5
Amazing song. Adam goes all out vocally and emotionally, he just belts out the chorus at the end in a hey jude sing-a-long style. If there's one song on the album that will have you singing by the end it's this one. "I been up all night, I might sleep all day, get your dreams just right, dont let em slip away, I might sleep all day...Oooooooo It's too late..to get high now...Oooooooo...it's too late....to get high now." Great guitar solo, and great drumming along with great everything else make this one of the best songs written by the crows.
13.) Holiday In Spain: 4/5
This song is one of the slowest, saddest, and most reminiscent of the crows past on the album. It's mainly Piano driven, with Adam's sad vocals over top singing greatly written lyrics, that include inside jokes like "Hop on my cho cho i'll be your engine drive in a bunny suit, and if you dress me up in pink and white we may be just a little fuzzy bout it later tonight." Another line I love from this song is "Shes my angel, she's a little better than the one that used to be with me, cause she..liked to scream at me man it's a miracle that she's not living up in a tree."
Bonus.) Big Yellow Taxi: 4/5
Most Crow fans don't really like this cover. But I for one love it, and don't really care much for the original. Adam Duritz just gives a great vocal performance, and the music is also presented in a great way.
In conclusion, this is definetley not the album to get if you want to hear what AAEA, RTS, and TDL are gonna sound like. Because this song has more pop influence than any of those others. If you like pop music you may not like this album, if you dont like pop music you may like it. The way it blends, bluesy music, soulful singing with pop and rock influences is different than anything the crows have done on their previous efforts.