Counting Crows – Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation)

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Review by Tony Gaskin

It’s been four long years since Counting Crows released Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, their last release, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting my copy of their new album Underwater Sunshine, a personal collection of covers.

A strange decision you might think, to release such an album as a first release on a new label, but singer Adam Duritz says that as a truly independent band now, they have the creative freedom to be able to release albums such as this, and as he says in the press release “if you wonder why we didn’t just write our own record, it’s simply because we wanted to do THIS one”

To be honest, if you weren’t told that this was an album of covers, many of you probably wouldn’t realise it. Most of the chosen tracks on here are quite obscure, when I saw the track list for the first time I was going down the list of artists covered saying “who?” quite a bit! In fact out of the 15 tracks I recognised 6 of the artists/bands here. There are songs from household names like Travis, Bob Dylan and The Faces through to bands such as Kasey Anderson & The Honkies and Romany Rye. The full press release is in our News section, with a full track listing, see how many you recognise!!

The truth is, whether the songs are familiar to you or not, each one is performed masterfully with that unmistakable Crows style of soulful rock and country Americana. Duritz has one of the most recognisable voices in rock and he has no trouble in tearing your heart out with his bitter sweet renditions of these songs.

I’ve put aside the reticence I normally reserve for a covers album, simply because many of the tracks and artists covered here are so unfamiliar to me and actually thoroughly enjoyed sitting back and relaxing to a very good album, one that deserves to be given serious consideration and not just written off as another lazy covers effort.

Rated 9 out of 10

You can judge for yourselves as it will be streamed in full on the bands website prior to it’s launch on the 9th April, where you can also download the track “Mercy” for free.

We have three copies of the album to give away, just go to our “Features” page for full details.

http//www.countingcrows.com