Counting Crows: Underwater Sunshine

This is the newest edition to Counting Crows cantankerous catalog of countless classics (try saying that five times fast)

It’s so true though. This is the sixth studio album and first studio album with new label Cooking Vinyl. They haven’t released an album since 2008 and now that we finally have a new record, we can rejoice in the brilliance that is the Counting Crows. Even though is only a cover album, I think it’s absolutely brilliant. There are some though that might not be disappointed though in the fact that we waited four years for a cover album, but hey, at least we know the band didn’t split up for good.

Here’s my opinion on covers. There’s nothing wrong with covers. Back in the day, they used to be a way for labels to determine the potential of a band (That’s how Quiet Riot made it to number on the charts in 1983 with their cover of Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize”). Now band’s normally use them as a way to show off their influences as well as their versatility. Rush’s Feedback album is a good example of this as well as Ministry’s Cover Up). I’m not a huge fan of cover albums or even most cover songs in general UNLESS, you really make it your own and no one can tell it’s a cover song. That’s what happened to me when I first heard this album. It wasn’t until the song “Amie” came on and I thought…man these all sound familiar.  This album features 15 of the bands favorite songs that range from a wide variety of styles and artists including Bob Dylan, Pure Prairie League, Dawes, The Faces, and Big Star.

Adam did a really stellar job of taking those songs and really making it their own. Whether you’ve heard the songs on the album or not and despite whether you’re even a fan of the songs or not, I’m sure anyone who is even a casual Counting Crows fan will get some sort of enjoyment from this album. With summer coming up, I would totally blast this record on a hot summer day by the beach (as well as the rest of their back catalog).

Definitely check this out though and definitely don’t slag off cover albums right  away until you hear them. I made that mistake before, but I won’t anymore thanks to this record.

Luke Helker

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