2. Mrs Potter's Lullaby
3. Amy Hit The Atmosphere
4. Four Days
5. All My Friends
6. High Life
7. Color Blind
8. I Wish I Was A Girl
10. st. Robinson In His Cadillac Dream
- Counting Crows: Adam Duritz (vocals, piano); David Bryson (acoustic, electric, 12-string & slide guitars); Dan Vickrey (acoustic & electric guitars, sitar, background vocals); Matt Malley (12-string guitar, bass, background vocals); Ben Mize (drums, percussion, background vocals).
- Additional personnel: David Immergluck (pedal steel & electric guitars, bass); Joel Derouin, Eve Butler (violin); Matt Funes (viola); Larry Corbett (cello); Dennis Herring (keyboards); David Lowery, Chris Seerfried, Gary DeRosa, Cinjun Tate, Charles Gillingham (background vocals).
- Recorded in Hollywood, California in 1998.
- Personnel: Dan Vickrey (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sitar, background vocals); Charlie Gillingham (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, electric piano, chamberlin, Mellotron, synthesizer); Matt Malley (vocals, 12-string guitar); Adam Duritz (vocals, piano, background vocals); Ben Mize (vocals, drums, percussion, background vocals); David Bryson (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric 12-string guitar, slide guitar); Clay Jones (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); David Immerglck (electric guitar, mandolin); Eve Butler, Joel Derouin (violin); Matthew Funes (viola); Larry Corbett (cello); David Campbell (strings); Dennis Herring (keyboards, loops); Chris Seefried, David Lowery, August Cinjun Tate, Gary Derosa (background vocals).
- Audio Mixers: Dennis Herring; Jack Joseph Puig; Jim Scott .
- Recording information: Hollywood, CA (1998).
- Illustrator: Dave McKean.
- Photographer: Rocky Schenck.
- Arranger: David Campbell .
- Looking beyond the puerile zeitgest that cluttered the charts in 1999, Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz continued to be the epitome of the sensitive lyricist, using songs as a canvas for what was going on in his life. Like its predecessors, THIS DESERT LIFE contains an abundance of musical riches. Camper Van Beethoven/Throwing Muses producer Dennis Herring shares the helm with Cracker's David Lowery. The duo vigorously supports the Crows' homespun leanings while at the same time tapping into the same vein of Americana from which many insurgent country bands draw inspiration.
- Duritz is a denizen of the subconscious who delves into the intertwining relationship of memories and dreams amidst the chugging pace of "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby." On the lushly bittersweet "All My Friends," he looks back at his life in the hopes of finding a future mate. Counting Crows offset the dark mood of THIS DESERT LIFE with a few less severe-sounding numbers. The bizarre imagery of "St. Robinson in His Cadillac Dream," is undercut by chiming mandolin and sweeping organ. "Hanginaround" is akin to "Hey Jude" with a hip-hop beat. Also included is the hidden track "Kid Things," a folksy rocker reminiscent of early-'70s Rod Stewart.
Rolling Stone (11/25/99, p.98) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...a couple of the best things they've ever done....[Adam] Duritz rises to the occasion of a stellar arrangement featuring discursive strings, spacey synths and river-deep basses..."
Spin (12/99, p.222) - 6 out of 10 - "...strikes the same oddly compelling, melancholy chord as its predecessors - a crafty, referential rock that should play well to licensed psychotherapists and VH1 viewers alike....[DESERT LIFE affirms] that Counting Crows are genuinely affecting songwriters..."
Q (12/99, pp.129-30) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...pushes [songwriter, Adam] Duritz to the fore, enhancing his narrative flair on the lengthy Mrs.Potter's Lullaby and the string-drenched 'All My Friends'..."
CMJ (11/8/99, p.27) - "...whether the band is working out an up-tempo number or looking deep into itself on ballads, each track on THIS DESERT LIFE is compelling, powerful and poetic."
Mojo (Publisher) (12/99, p.125) - "...a sandbank of relentless, parochial misery....amiable...yet, generates a worrying, overwhelming sadness..."