(1993) Counting Crows August and Everything After
I’ve long-since been a fan of this band. There’s another blog about where I talk about how I hiked a mountain with knee injury just to see them–only to find out they cancelled the show…so I can tell you I’ve been a fan since day one. I have every studio album they recorded. I do have other favorites (Hard Candy and This Desert Life), but again, the beginning brillance of a band outshines the rest. As a writer, I appreciated the hand-scrawled lyrics and bright, sunny background of the CD jacket. We all know hits like “Round Here” and “Rain King.” I love them, I do. There is, much like Mother Love Bone, a manic-depressive quality to this collection of crooning as well. “Sullivan Street,” “Raining in Baltimore,” and “Perfect Blue Buildings” draw the listener into a depressive sort of coma–in a good way, if you appreciate the sad spectrum of things. Yet these sad tracks are evened out with the glorious “Rain King” that makes you want to fly back and forth in circles in your room instead of paying your bills or doing your homework. The revolutionary “Anna Begins” will also lift the spirits. Just when you’re feeling melancholy, the band hits you with “A Murder of One.” While, on the surface, that sounds dreadful, you must be aware that a group of crows is referred to as “A Murder of Crows.” Ah! The light bulb goes ON. He’s talking about loneliness. Word play is my best friend. This is a track that has always been my favorite. I have an interpretive dance to the beautiful poetry of lyrics that this song is. After a steady build up of repeated lyrics, the song explodes into a joyful noise of “Change, change, change!” accompanied by Duritz’s welcome crooning. By the time the CD ends, you cherish the humming silence with a smile on your face. Their other albums do that, too, but not to this magnitude.