Barnes and Noble Review: New Amsterdam
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While Counting Crows have always been capable of capturing lightning in a bottle in the studio -- as borne out by their clutch of enduring tunes -- the band have always been at their best onstage. That's never been more evident than on this concert collection, which finds Adam Duritz and company twisting and turning through a career-spanning set of songs, daubing bright new colors on some tracks and delving into the darker corners of others.

The latter approach adds an extra level of poignancy to "Goodnight L.A.," which is stripped to its bare bones, all the better to spotlight Duritz's plaintive vocal. A pensive "Perfect Blue Buildings" is similarly spare, its lilting melody decked out in lacy filigrees of guitar that drift in and out of focus, caressing the listener all the while.

The band are equally adept at proffering a shot or two of adrenaline, as they do on "St. Robinson in His Cadillac Dream," an intricate bit of folk-rock whimsy that makes the most of multi-instrumentalist David Immergluck's fingerpicking (which also plays a major role in the burnished "Richard Manuel Is Dead"). This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall is outfitted with an album-ending bonus track, a gripping version of "Blues Run the Game," one of a handful of extant songs written by the late Jackson Frank, a reclusive American folkie who some have called the American answer to Nick Drake. The Crows' version -- an appropriately melancholy, lovingly arranged epistle -- attests to both their musicological chops and the emotional depths they're capable of registering

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