Well, Adam Fredric Duritz and the boys are back again….Thank God! I swear I simply can not go too long without listening to that voice. Strangely, Mr. Duritz doesn’t even need to be singing all of the time. I feel a sense of comfort and security when he’s talking about grabbing a pamphlet at the end of “A Long December” on Across a Wire. Sort of like this guy really is looking out for all of us.
Now Counting Crows are back with a new studio recording, Underwater Sunshine, a beautiful collection containing fifteen of the bands renditions of the music that either influenced them or that they have simply enjoyed throughout the years. Even the title is an homage to one of Adam’s favourite’s, The Soft Boys’ Underwater Moonlight.
I’ve never been a fan of bands that perform their live music so precisely like the studio album that enticed me to buy a ticket that I get annoyed thinking I could have stayed in my car and fired up Spotify. Counting Crows have never been in this category. They enjoy making music and it shows over and over again. Even though they are at star status, the Crows have never lost their indie feel and that after all the money and fame they are still in this for the love of the art. So, it was no surprise to me at all that let loose to perform their favourites, Adam and the guys did not disappoint. Underwater Sunshine is not made up of copied covers, it is 100% Counting Crows. They do what they do, change what they want and above everything have fun. With these arrangements the Crows have produced what can only be considered a compliment to every writer and original recorder of every song on the compilation.
I won’t go into the track list in detail other than to admit, though I enjoyed them all, Big Star’s “The Ballad of El Goodo”, written by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, really stood out for me. For information on each track and Adam’s commentary thereof, head over to www.pastemagazine.com, Josh Jackson did a truly wonderful job.
1. “Untitled (Love Song)” by The Romany Rye
2. “Start Again” by Teenage Fanclub
3. “Hospital” by Coby Brown
4. “Mercy” by Tender Mercies
5. “Meet On The Ledge” by Fairport Convention
6. “Like Teenage Gravity” by Kasey Anderson & The Honkies
7. “Amie” by Pure Prairie League
8. “Coming Around” by Travis
9. “Ooh La La” by The Faces
10. “All My Failures” by Dawes
11. “Return of the Grievous Angel” by Gram Parsons
12. “Four White Stallions” by Tender Mercies
13. “Jumping Jesus” by Sordid Humor
14. “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” by Bob Dylan
15. “The Ballad of El Goodo” by Big Star
photo credit: Underwater Sunshine album cover