Counting Crows - Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings (4 stars)

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Counting Crows - Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings

(Polydor)

ROCK

After hitting an impasse after their insanely popular but creatively redundant cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, it looked like Counting Crows were on a one-way trip to rom-com soundtrackville. For this, their fifth record, they’ve turned it around and emerged energised, with a two-part concept album about the aforementioned weekend chicanery.

From the furious crash of opener ‘1492’ to the delicate balladeering of ‘Washington Square’, the band illustrate their dynamic range with considerable style. Adam Durtiz’ close-to-tears wail owes a debt to the crown prince of the broken hearted love song Mark Eitzel at times and can still roll out the occasional clunking one-liner, and latterly, there’s a couple of slightly stale mid-tempo bob-a-longs that bring the average down, but for the most part, Saturday Nights . . . is a great record.

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