That was how I described this album to a friend last night - and whilst rushing to work this morning that was the best description I could come up with.
I've loved Counting Crows since a friend introduced them to me about ten years ago - and I've bought every record - bar their cash-in greatest hits - following their evolution as a group, growth in maturity and musical complexity.
This record however makes me consider, has Adam Duritz run out of steam?
The band's original drummer and bassist have left - I think noticing that the dream of making good, original rock music is over.
There are couple of things that really ache me about this record:
1) Musically - there's nothing new and 'good' about the style and sound of this record. A stylistic rehash of the previous album with an occasional jarring bridge of weird, faster, harder strumming and unconvincing pseudo-Spanish-knock-off riffs.
2) Lyrics? Don't make me laugh. Duritz quotes his own previous work during a few of the songs on this record - some that he's already quoted before on other albums! Has the well of originality dried up??
Perhaps I'd be more forgiving if this record had come at a better time.
If there was nothing else for me to listen to then I might have been a little more understanding and perhaps even grateful - but when compared to such great as albums as Linkin Park's 'Minutes to Midnight', Jetplane Landing's 'Backlash Cop' or Fighting With Wire's 'Man Vs. Monster', to be honest I can't justify the time wasted on listening to this record.
Limping, walking slowly, crumbling. Arthritic I feel is a good description for a record from a band who perhaps are long past their peak.
I won't be buying the next Counting Crows record - there's just too much better music to listen to.