Duritz has recently come out regarding his battles with mental illness, and it's against the backdrop of his recovery that this almost "concept album" was forged. It's essentially two different albums: the tight, loud rock tunes – including the rousing opener "1492", "Los Angeles" and "Hanging Tree" – dominate the first half, while the sweeter, more acoustic numbers dominate the last half. The album's first single "You Can't Count on Me" is quintessential Crows, with a great sing along chorus.
Like them or not, one must concede that Counting Crows are definitely song craftsmen. Every song is tastefully written and arranged, and the band really, really plays well together. Whether or not Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings will re-capture the band's commercial glory days remains to be seen, but the personal steps their frontman has taken towards honesty in his personal life makes this new one quite a nice surprise.
Written by Dan Reed