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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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So here we have Counting Crows 6th studio album of new material and it's an album of covers. To be honest, this sounds so much like their own material, you could be forgotten it was not original songs. However, the fact that the album is not original songs is my reason for deducting a star.

Some of the original artists who recorded these songs (and therefore the songs themselves) might not be familiar to many listeners such as The Romany Rye, or Pure Prairie League. However, many will be well-known names; Dylan, Gram Parsons, Fairport Convention, Teenage Fanclub. The one thing that is consistent is that they place their own slant/style on every song.

For me, the Counting Crows were one of the best bands to come out of the 90s, and have carried on the great (modern) tradition of West Coast rock, and for me this album has not disappointed at all, in fact the opposite, it has re-affirmed my faith in them. Just under 20 years is a long time to produce only 6 studio albums so I hope it will not be too long a wait before we see another album of new material.

Packaging is a single fold-out digipak with a 24 page booklet with quite detailed comments about the songs, a worthwhile addition in my opinion.
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on 13 April 2012
Never the most prolific of bands, and four years on from their last release 'Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings', i was initially sceptical when i heard that Counting Crows latest album was to be solely cover versions. Credit where it's due though, for it is actually a success. They manage to strike a decent balance between the songs that are well known, 'Ooh La La'(The Faces), 'Return of the Grievous Angel'(Gram Parsons), 'The Ballad Of El Goodo'(Big Star)', some that you might have heard like 'Meet On The Ledge'(Fairport Convention) and virtually unknown tunes such as album opener 'Untitled (Love Song)'(The Romany Rye) and 'Hospital'(Coby Brown). They also throw in a couple of songs that i never saw coming at all, like 'Coming Around' by Travis and a Teenage Fanclub number 'Start Again'. It works well because it always sounds like Counting Crows, and if you didn't know any better you could easily believe that they wrote most of the songs. Let's just hope that we don't have to wait another four years until the next album, which hopefully they will write themselves!
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on 12 April 2012
I did consider giving it 4 stars only (all covers) but I think Counting Crows have delivered a sound that takes me back to their early days. I'm playing nothing else at the moment and whilst I was slightly concerned about an album of covers I have to say it's pretty perfect. What a choice of tracks and some genius choices from Adam. The opening track (untitled love song) sucks you in and the journey begins, I won't bore you with the details of each track but one thing is for certain The Crows could pass this off as original material, totally putting their stamp on each track. Highlights for me Untitled, Start Again, Mercy, Amie, Jumping Jesus and The Ballad of El Goodo. Iv'e seen this band countless times both sides of the pond and the only downside is the limited amount of albums they have produced over the 20 years.....If you are a Crows fan then what you waiting for, go buy it.
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on 5 March 2013
When I first played this cd I thought to myself, ooo no, this is way to "Country" for me. However, it was played on low volume in the car with my husband present who is not a fan. lol "Take Two" was a different story all together and by listening to this on my own at the volume it should be played at to appreciate Adam's perfect butter melting voice (13), I found that 14 out of 15 cover songs on this cd are now my favourite because he sings them. I have played this every day on the way to work since I received it, which was about a month ago and I am still not tired of it. Again, if you are a true Counting Crows fan, you will be glad to add this to your collection.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2012
For some artists, releasing an album of cover versions seems like a cop out. However, if the band has released several chart topping (and at least one era-defining) albums, then it's less of a problem, because they've earned the right to do it.

Counting Crows have always hit the spot as far as I'm concerned, Adam Duritz's distinctive voice carries over a folk-country-rock style that is both very generic, yet somehow very clearly their own. These songs may not be their's, but their style is all over it. Like a feelgood, good ole boy, yee-ha rodeo, this album oozes Deep South. Although I've heard of most of the original artists, I've only heard one track before - Four White Stallions - which appeared on Hard Candy. So for me, listening to this album is hearing brand new material, albeit not original.

If you think you'll be disappointed because they are cover versions, don't be. They are every bit as well performed as any of their previous material, and if this is the influence for future albums then it bodes very well.
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on 17 August 2012
The Crows are, as ever superb in their latest album.

Yes, this is covers not new material but don't let that stop you, the band have put their own inimitable twist on every song and besides, some of these covers are so obscure that most people won't have heard them anyway so you can just pretend to yourself it's a new original album.

Where the stars have been lost though is in the album's packaging and production, The first thing you'll notice when listening to the album, is that the track listing is wrong. Only 2 tracks are the wrong way round, but if, like me, the first thing you do with a new album is put it on your portable music player, you'll be annoyed to see that two of the tracks will end up with the wrong titles.

Slightly more concerning is that there seems to have been something weird gone on in the disc manufacturing process; for the UK at least. Whilst the disc plays ok in a regular CD player, if you try and add it to your music library, you might encounter a few problems. I've tried 2 discs so far and both report sync and data errors. These appear in different places on both discs so this would appear to be a problem with the disc surface rather than intentional copy security errors.

For the most I hope this will not spoil the enjoyment for the majority of people but it does seems worrying when discs are are not more stringently quality controlled before release.
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on 17 March 2016
I love Counting Crows, but I feel they could have done a little better on this album of covers. That said, they do what they want, how they want and that is one of the reasons why I like them so much. There are 3 tracks that I think are fantastic on here, worth a listen.
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on 27 May 2013
A really good album giving an insight into the music that have inspired the band , the track notes by Adam Duritz were very interesting , I ended up buying a couple of kasey Anderson albums after hearing Like Teenage Gravity.
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on 11 May 2012
The Counting Crows have finally captured their spark found in their live recordings, in the studio. With the sugar coating of sound engineering - this is a special and quite unique release as a treat for those who have been listening to some of the featured songs, in their unclean and low quality audio recordings for many years.

Although having already recorded these songs in the studio at some point (or on stage), the Counting Crows have re-recorded them completely rather than just copy and paste them from previous releases, to harvest their years of experience and collaborative talent to perform these songs to their fullest potential.

Lead singer Adam Duritz kindly forgets that this is a record and sings more like a one off show where every note is only ever going to be heard the once (Return of The Grevious Angel) and sang with fun and the often talked about Live performing Talent!

The album is purely a storytelling treat. It isn't about recording other great artists songs simply because many already know and love them - but with the intention to pass them on to us all (the audience) with the bands own reasons for doing so. The proof in this is that in the CD booklet the guide to the songs lyrics have been replaced with in depth stories about each song, the artist and what personal choices (if any) brought them to Underwater Sunshine.

All in all, a great album condensing The Counting Crows Live Buzz, (Which really feels like a recording of an entire live show) with an interesting mix of songs keen to lead listeners on to inspiring and talented musicians that in fact contributed and inspired the Band and Adam Duritz to play how they are playing nowadays ... :) Nice!
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on 17 August 2015
Love this band, but this has good and not so good as they cover bands/artists that have influenced them over the years , particular favourites are " In the North Country" and "Friend of the Devil" . Not a must own but has good highlights.n
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