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Counting Crows: Underwater Sunshine

Some four years since their last studio album, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, Counting Crows return with a collection of cover versions that also marks their first independent release since their break with Geffen after some eighteen years with the label. Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation) is a real potpourri of songs, some that will be familiar and others totally obscure, embracing all eras from the 1960's to present day. The Faces, Fairport Convention and Bob Dylan are amongst the more recognisable names whereas Kasey Anderson, The Romany Rye and Coby Brown will leave many listeners scratching their heads, and are made even more mysterious by the complete absence of Wikipedia entries.

It may only prove to be a footnote in the Counting Crows legacy but if Underwater Sunshine revitalises the band into focusing their creative energy on their next original album then that is no bad thing. Not they are treading water here, far from it. There are some remarkable interpretations that come with that familiar whisper of world weariness that Adam Duritz does so well, particularly on "Meet On The Ledge", "Like Teenage Gravity" and "The Ballad of El Goodo" each of which conveys that "we're all in this together" approach that runs through so much of the Crows back catalogue. The version of Dylan's "You Ain't Going Nowhere" makes for a perfect blend of acoustic and electric guitars and honky-tonk piano together with Duritz irresistible and off-beat delivery. "Jumping Jesus" and "Tender White Stallions" are plucked from the bands pre-Crows projects and are in keeping with the overall laid-back vibe that permeates throughout. And what ultimately makes this project a resounding success is that despite the huge disconnect in the origins of the individual songs Underwater Sunshine works as a cohesive collection of sophistication and grace.


Track Listing
01. "Untitled (Love Song)" The Romany Rye
02. "Start Again" Teenage Fanclub
03. "Hospital" Coby Brown
04. "Mercy" Tender Mercies
05. "Meet On The Ledge" Fairport Convention
06. "Like Teenage Gravity" Kasey Anderson & The Honkies
07. "Amie" Pure Prairie League
08. "Coming Around" Travis
09. "Ooh La La" The Faces
10. "All My Failures" Dawes
11. "Return of the Grievous Angel" Gram Parsons
12. "Four White Stallions" Tender Mercies
13. "Jumping Jesus" Sordid Humor
14. "You Ain't Going Nowhere" Bob Dylan
15. "The Ballad of El Goodo" Big Star

Added: April 6th 2012
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Score:
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1770
Language: english

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