Picks and Pans Review: Recovering the Satellites
Feeling miserable should always sound this pleasant. With this accomplished followup to their phenomenally successful 1993 debut, August and Everything After, the San Francisco-based Crows continue to weave together bittersweet tunes that, despite their tales of heartache, still manage to sound happy and at times quite uplifting. Lead singer and lyricist Adam Duritz seems to be forever trapped in relationships where one party or the other just can't stay put. He kicks off the disc with "Catapult" and the words, "All of the sudden she disappears/Just yesterday she was here." Thirteen songs later, on "Walkaways," he sounds no better off: "And someday/ I'm gonna stay/ But not today."
Throughout, however, the Crows' music provides fascinating counterpoint. In the driving "Angels of the Silences," the soft neofolk of "Miller's Angels" or the string arrangements that turn "I'm Not Sleeping" into a soaring bit of orchestral rock, the band's irresistible melodies are so invigorating that even the saddest tune somehow comes across as hopeful. (DGC)