Bad news on top of bad news, that’s what another Monday has brought me, one of the only shimmers of positivity was the Counting Crows Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation) waiting for me. Yes, I only own the Best Of, but there’s something about having the chance to hear an album by a band I constantly compare artists to in my line of work, that’s surreal.
So used to taking on pop punk EPs and post-hardcore albums, Counting Crows 15 song long album was a task, but one taken on with a smile. I sat in the midst of a heated Jeopardy. Well who knows if it was a runaway? I was paying attention to the Crows. “Untitled (Love Song)” opened the album and I found some sort of secret beauty in the idea of love being untitled, rather unable to label. No wonder leading man is also a notorious ladies man. When my swooning was done there, the easygoing and somewhat somber pace of “Start Again” reminded me of R.E.M. and had one line that ironically repeated, “some thoughts just won’t leave my head” as Adam Levine took my TV screen.
The familiarities that Counting Crows fans will attach themselves to is the unison of the group in the choruses throughout the album, especially in “Meet On The Ledge.” Those harmonies along with a new element, which we’ll get to in a second, reminded me of a long drive through Topanga Canyon. The winding roads ending at a hippy chic pad where Counting Crows are waiting to shower ears with their sound.
Now the new…Remember when Hootie went Country? Well Counting Crows haven’t crossed that threshold fully, but there were a few times I was thinking of adding them to my County playlist due to the hints in “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” to the Bluegrass texture “Amie.” I might just have to when Underwater Sunshine hits the masses April 10th.
As the sun set on this one, I was hoping something like “Mr. Jones” would come on, but with that song being almost 20 years old, you can’t expect them to play the same note this far down the road. So I wasn’t that bummed out and happy that today of all days, a little reminder of musical happiness was dropped into my life. Underwater Sunshine is a little bit country, not a lot of rock n’ roll and has an abundance of emotion that comes across as genuine as each line escapes.
Make sure to get it when you can on April 10th and see them on tour, which gets underway the very next day on April 13th in Seattle, WA and wraps up May 5th in Nashville, TN (fitting?).