’09 Reviews

I wrote briefly about this album But let me elaborate on this “album”.   First, it is not a new album by the Counting Crows, but yet it is.  The first disc is a re-issue of their debut album of 15 years ago (August and Everything After) with 6 extra songs added (including the rocked out, early demo version of Omaha).  Love and Addiction and Shallow Days (being added twice) are excellent songs to be included on this re-issue. The second disk is a live disk recorded at Elysee Montmartre – Paris, France – December 9th, 1994.  The disk first two songs are classics re-done by Adam in a moving, emotional way – Anna Begins, and Omaha.  Perfect Blue Buildings is a haunting re-make in which Adam does not just sing but invests himself emotionally into the song.  But the highlight of the album is Round Here clocking in at over 11 minutes or so and has at the end of this sonic feast a song incorporated into this morphed live version by a band called Sordid Humor.  The title of the song is, “Private Archipelago”.  The lyrics are such:

She lives alone on her Private Archipelago
with the palm trees and her seashells

She sits in the waves all day
She’s scared of dying and she wants to keep it that way

She sends a boat out on the sea with a little note for me
it says why are all the girls so hungry
say why are all the girls so hungry
why are all the boys so lonely

But they fit perfectly and beautifully into the original song, Round Here.  BTW, Adam Duritz sang back up for a song or two for the group Sordid Humor so that is how the connection was made.  Also, on the live disc Counting Crows covered another Sordid Humor song…”Jumping Jesus”.

Adam Duritz in particular and Counting Crows in general are an aging band to be sure.  There are some cracks showing (i was a little disappointed with Saturday Nights/Sunday Mornings).  But Adam is one of the truest musicians around.  He is a poet.  Someone who writes with passion and emotion and while his voice is not always the greatest on every song….it doesn’t matter.  A lot of musicians today just sing to get paid, or sing b/c they think they can and their lyrics lack depth or vision.  The songs mean something to Adam.  He is a storyteller.  And this is what the world needs.  People who tell stories.  And tell them well.  The Counting Crows will be playing “Round Here” (my house) for a long, long, long time.

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