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Hard Candy [Revised Bonus Tracks]
     

Hard Candy [Revised Bonus Tracks]

by Counting Crows
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.]

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2006
Label:
Universal Import
UPC:
0606949355920
catalogNumber:
493559

Related Subjects

Tracks

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
Dave Bryson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Leona Naess   Background Vocals
David Gibbs   Background Vocals
Karen Jones   Violin
Mario de León   Violin
Ralph Morrison   Violin,Concert Master
Sarah Parkins   Violin

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
Ben Dobie   Engineer

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