All Songs Were Written by the Band. Produced by David Lowery (Sparklehorse) and David Herring (Throwing Muses.) Includes Extra Track Not on the Us Version.
Two years in the making, This Desert Life is the kind of collection that will please the Counting Crows faithful and leave doubters unconverted. Adam Duritz's recognizably emotive vocals and the group's classic-rock stylings remain in the fore as the Crows stick near the nest with their third studio outing. The Mellencamp-like opener, "Hanginaround," is one of the strongest tunes here, thanks to its laid-back passion and catchy piano and percussive elements. The familiar feeling "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" is another lively offering, but at nearly eight minutes it's too long. The emotional, Van Morrison-like lament "All My Friends" feels self-pitying, while the balance of the album is simply bland. The sound is appealing (witness the spare "Colorblind" and the waltzing "Amy Hit the Atmosphere"), but This Desert Life is, on the whole, rather dry. --Katherine Turman
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