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Recovering the Satellites

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Album Review

For their second album, Recovering the Satellites, Counting Crows crafted a self-consciously challenging response to their unexpected success. Throughout the record, Adam Duritz contemplates his loss of privacy and sudden change of fortunes, among other angst-ridden subjects. In one sense, it's no different from the subjects that dominated August and Everything After, yet his outlook is lacking the muted joy that made "Mr. Jones" into a hit. Similarly, the music is slightly more somber, yet the approach is harder and more direct, which gives even the ballads a more affecting, visceral feel. Recovering the Satellites occasionally bogs down in its own pretentiousness — for a roots rock band, the group certainly has a lot of artsy goals — yet when they scale back their ambitions to simple folk-rock, such as on the single "A Long December," they are at their most articulate.

Customer Reviews

Second look at a sophomore album.

Pretty sure that this is the most consistently underrated album of the '90s. After the phenomenon of August, the Crows suffered the same kind of backlash that has buried many a talented-yet-overexposed band. That their 2nd album dealt expressly with the consequences of that meteoric celebrity made those who were sick of Mr. Jones feel like Duritz was simply being ungrateful. Thus, Satellites was roundly panned for "pretension," "navel-gazing," and "angst." Listening to it now, without the noise of sudden overexposure ringing in our ears, it rings with a pre-emo roar of fear, wonder and raw guitar. I'm buying it again.

A Personal Favorite

Honestly, I can't tell if this album is good or not. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the greatest albums ever. It calls out to me in a deep and personal manner that very few albums have ever acheived. It is really as fantastic as I see it, or is my judgement clouded by the personal associations I have with this album. Who knows. Have a listen and decide for yourself.

Underrating the Satellites

This is one of the most underrated albums of the 90's, which in my humble opinion, can be attributed to the fact that "August and Everything After" was overhyped. When the media hypes a band's first album, it can create unreasonable expectations from that point forward. The fact of the matter is that "August" isn't "Better", it just recieved more attention. This album is just as good, maybe even better than "August", especially to those who like the traditional style of rock. There are songs for everyone on this album. "Angels of the Silences" and "Daylight Fading" will appeal to today's modern rockers, while "A Long December's" piano melodies and softer guitar chords will give longtime fans what they want. This is an essential album for anyone, especially the diehard Counting Crows fan. Until this album gets the recognition it deserves, "I'm Not Sleeping"!


Formed: August, 1991 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

With their angst-filled hybrid of Van Morrison, the Band, and R.E.M., Counting Crows became an overnight sensation in 1994. Only a year earlier, the band was a group of unknown musicians, filling in for the absent Van Morrison at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony; they were introduced by an enthusiastic Robbie Robertson. Early in 1993, the band recorded its debut album, August and Everything After, with T-Bone Burnett. Released in the fall, it was a dark and somber record, driven by the morose...
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