Counting Crows are Back with Somewhere Under Wonderland

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We all know the Counting Crows- that incredible band birthed from 90s alternative rock that transcended the gap into the new millennium while most other bands faded out. Counting Crows has been putting out album after album of great music, each album with its own unique sound and its own style. The Crows just recently released their newest full length, Somewhere Under Wonderland, and this newest album is definitely no exception to their track record. Opening up with “Palisades Park”, the first song on the record serves as a great indicator of what’s to come with the next 8 songs on the record. A slow-starting, yet upbeat song that incorporates Adam Duritz’s classic piano use with a progressive chorus, their opening track blends some older styles with a more new, seasoned sound.

The second track, “Earthquake Driver”, is an awesome ode to the new Counting Crows. With some really cool and twangy guitar work, it’s definitely a super fun song to jam to. This song definitely contains all the parts of a Counting Crows song that make it a great choice to play while you’re cruising down the road on a gorgeous summer day.

One of the slower songs on the album, “God of Ocean Tides”, happens to be one of my personal favorites. One thing I love about the Crows, and Adam Duritz in particular, is their ability to produce songs like “Earthquake Driver” that you can totally rock out to, while still being a master of tracks that really cut deep. This is an awesome track to listen to and just chill out and relax!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfRkgaefcNQ

For as great as the album is, there are still a couple songs that I’m not in love with. Tracks six and seven, “Elvis Went to Hollywood” and “Cover Up the Sun”, for example, just seem to be too much of the same stuff the Counting Crows have been putting out with previous albums. They are both undoubtedly upbeat and fast-paced songs that I can definitely see people enjoying, but they just don’t do it for me.

The Counting Crows manage to bounce back from those two average songs and close off the record with an incredible track- “Possibility Days”. Another slower track, somewhat like “God of Ocean Tides,” but with a little more going on instrumentally. It’s definitely the perfect choice in terms of closing off the album, with a discussion of what comes next in a struggling relationship. Personally, I love it when Duritz composes such old-school songs about a girl, because they never end up being your typical generic “song about a girl.”

Overall, I rate the album a 7 out of 10 for its awesome blend of old and new Counting Crows style, finding a way to remind us all why we love them and why they’re still relevant. Some parts of the album do tend to flat-line just a little, but the caliber of the good sections of it definitely make up for it and allow it to be a great album that’s an enjoyable experience all the way through.