Hard Candy [Revised Bonus Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
From the breezy melodies of their fourth studio album, it might seem like Counting Crows' notoriously mopey frontman, Adam Duritz, has learned to stop worrying and go with life's flow. But listen deeper, as this poetic and captivating disc demands, and you'll hear otherwise. This Hard Candy is tough to swallow, even if the strains are sweeter than anything the band has produced to date. Duritz is every bit as neurotic and oddly captivating a presence as ever: There's no mistaking the bleak melodrama that seeps from every corner of a song like "If I Could Give All My Love Richard Manuel Is Dead," an appropriately windswept tune written in tribute to the Band pianist who...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
From the breezy melodies of their fourth studio album, it might seem like Counting Crows' notoriously mopey frontman, Adam Duritz, has learned to stop worrying and go with life's flow. But listen deeper, as this poetic and captivating disc demands, and you'll hear otherwise. This Hard Candy is tough to swallow, even if the strains are sweeter than anything the band has produced to date. Duritz is every bit as neurotic and oddly captivating a presence as ever: There's no mistaking the bleak melodrama that seeps from every corner of a song like "If I Could Give All My Love Richard Manuel Is Dead," an appropriately windswept tune written in tribute to the Band pianist who committed suicide more than a decade ago. But elsewhere, the tonal palette expands to include brighter colors, most obviously on the wry "American Girls" and "Butterfly in Reverse," a grandly scaled song that evokes images of Van Dyke Parks putting the finishing touches on a vintage Beach Boys track. Rather than fly off in search of uncharted territory -- a habit that made their last couple of albums hit-and-miss affairs -- the Crows stay closer to home here, concentrating on lush, 12-string-saturated instrumentation and vivid imagery, most in evidence on the one-two geographic punch of "Goodnight LA" and "Miami." Hard Candy is a bittersweet yet energizing treat.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Hard Candy is the sound of a band at a creative and poetic summit. Over three previous studio recordings, Counting Crows have moved through varied musical territories as a way of conveying emotion through performance, texture, and nuance, the place where the mood meets the heart meets the mind. Hard Candy is both a radical departure from the band's previous method of recording, and contextually, an affirmation of what sets them apart from virtually every other band on the rock & roll scene: their commitment to songwriting as craft. These tracks are strongly committed to conveying a song in the hook rather than in the lyric. They are tight, crisp, and razor-sharp pop songs on a bright, shiny, rock record. Every backing vocal, every lilting string, trumpet line, or piano run, was meticulously crafted and scripted into this invigorating musical architecture -- and lyrically, Adam Duritz offers at least as much as he's given on any other album. The set opens with the title track, a wide-open 4/4 rocker illustrated by shimmering piano lines and ringing Byrds-like 12-string electric guitars punching up the middle. Duritz sings with an Allen Ginsberg-like heroic candor: "On certain Sundays in November when the weather bothers me/I empty drawers of other summers/where my shadows used to be...You send your lover off to China and you wait for her to call/You put your girl up on a pedestal and you wait for her to fall/I put my summers back in a letter/All the regrets you can't forget are somehow pressed upon a picture in the face of such an ordinary girl." These lines reflect the entwined themes that run through virtually every song on the record: memory, the regret of loss due to ignorance, and pervasive loneliness in everyday life. Even the humorous songs here, such as the first single, "American Girls," offer candid meditations on these subjects. Other tracks, such as "Butterfly Reverse," co-written with Ryan Adams, offer stunningly textured instrumentation and wondrously pastoral pop melodies accented by a grand piano holding the middle against a huge wash of fawning strings and rim shots as the lyrics drip like dirty rainwater into a puddle in the middle of the street. Ultimately, this record, with its many seeming aberrations, will no doubt attract new fans without alienating the old. These stories are as wondrously accessible in their sheeny glory, yet as moving and profound as anything pop music has to offer. [Universal's 2006 edition included two bonus tracks.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2006
  • Label: Universal Import
  • UPC: 606949355920
  • Catalog Number: 493559

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Counting Crows Primary Artist
Matthew Sweet Background Vocals
Sheryl Crow Background Vocals
Jacqueline Brand Violin
Carole Castillo Viola
Brian Dembow Viola
Stephen Erdody Cello
Ron Fair Conductor
Richard Feves Bass
Charlie Gillingham Synthesizer, Piano, Oboe, Hammond Organ, Vocals, Mellotron, Omnichord, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, Tack Piano
Alan Grunfeld Violin
Jerry Hey Conductor, Flugelhorn
Paula Hochhalter Cello
David Immerglück Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar, Electric Sitar
Ethan Johns Percussion, Conga
Edward Meares Bass
Ben Mize Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Loops
Robin Olson Violin
Katia Popov Violin
Tina Soule Cello
Cecilia Tsan Cello
Josefina Vergara Violin
Adam Duritz Piano, Vocals
John Scanlon Viola
Matt Malley Bass Guitar, Vocals, Upright Bass
Natalie Leggett Violin
Alan Mautner Violin
Ryan Adams Background Vocals
Sara Parkins Violin
Dave Bryson Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Leona Naess Background Vocals
David Gibbs Background Vocals
Karen Jones Violin
Mario de León Violin
Ralph Morrison III Violin, Concert Master
Technical Credits
Ron Fair Arranger, Producer, String Arrangements
Gary Gersh Executive Producer, Management
Charlie Gillingham Composer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Jerry Hey Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Steve Holroyd Engineer
Ethan Johns Producer
Steve Lillywhite Producer
Jeff Trott Composer
Brian Vibberts Engineer
Adam Duritz Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, String Samples
Carl Glanville Producer, Engineer
Donal Hodgson Engineer
Krish Sharma Engineer
Dan Vickrey Composer
Matt Malley Composer
Stephen Harris Engineer
Steven Rhodes Engineer
Jordan Schur Executive Producer
Patrick Winningham Composer
Joe Zook Engineer
Ryan Adams Composer
Bill Thomson Studio Manager
Liam Ward Art Direction
Dave Bryson Engineer
Tal Herzberg Arranger, Programming, Engineer, Digital Editing
Ben Dobie Engineer
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