Back in Full Emotive Form

Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings (Geffen Records)
Counting Crows

By Kory Wilcoxson

You don't need the analytical acumen of Sigmund Freud to know what's going on with Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz. The Dreadlocked One wears most of his vital organs on his sleeve and in his lyrics and a good portion of the songs on the Crows' first studio album in six years are a cross between poetic lamentations and transcripts of a therapy session.

The album's title and construction imply a bifurcation in mood, but the only thing that changes is the tempo and instrumentation as Duritz hashes out his own demons and anxieties to the music. Thankfully, for the most part this is an exercise worth hearing and songs like the sublime "Hanging Tree" and pop gem "You Can't Count on Me" are classic Crows material.

It's hard to believe it's been 16 years since the Crows captured radio listeners with "Mr. Jones." The band has aged well and still has the ability to write crafty songs that smooth the edges of Duritz' forlorn self-analysis.

Ultimately, what the Crows offer is much deeper and fulfilling than their earlier work and chances are their more mature audience will resonate with both the music and Duritz' continued search for identity and meaning.

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