Recovering the Satellites
First Appeared in The Music Box, February 1997, Volume 4, #2
Written by John Metzger
At first glance, Recovering the Satellites, the latest release from the Counting Crows, isn't as effective at August and Everything After. However, it's one of those albums that takes awhile to appreciate fully, and time spent with it will pay great dividends. In deed, it's different, it's darker, it's harsher, and it may be better than its predecessor. From the Beatles-meet-grunge of Catapult to the haunting Goodnight Elisabeth, singer Adam Duritz puts his heart and soul into all of the tracks on the disc. He's an emotionally expressive singer, and the pain of his troubled relationships seeps through every nook and cranny of the endeavor.
Beginning with Miller's Angels, the latter half of Recovering the Satellites is even better than the first half. The ending of this tune borrows and improves upon the Counting Crows' own Raining in Baltimore, and Duritz literally cries the final lyrics as the song fades into the Sting-inspired Another Horsedreamer's Blues. This tune builds to a whirlwind of emotion amidst the swirling keyboards supplied by Charles Gillingham. The title track mixes the sound of the previous album with the harder edge of this one, and the result is outstanding. Gillingham picks up his accordion to give A Long December the feel of a tune by The Band. By the time the final chord of the acoustic Walkaways fades from view, it's impossible not to hit play and start the emotionally turbulent ride all over again.
Recovering the Satellites is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1997 The Music Box