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Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation)

81 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 10, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Underwater Sunshine is a testament of a band geek-obsessed with music. 'There's a million great songs written every day that you discover, and wish your friends could appreciate as much as you do,' says singer/songwriter Adam Duritz. 'These songs come from bands young and old, stretching from the early 60s to last year. They're all great and will hopefully be heard by a few more people now.'

Produced by Counting Crows and Shawn Dealey, Underwater Sunshine features tracks written by artists such as Big Star, Gram Parsons, Tender Mercies, Kasey Anderson and The Faces. Each rendition offers an entire spectrum of human emotion, delivered with the conviction and intense honesty the band is known for.

As their first independent release, it was the right time for the Crows to make this album. 'If you wonder why we didn t just write our own record, it s simply because we wanted to do THIS one,' says Duritz, We now have the creative freedom to release albums like this and offer our fans more music than ever.'

1. Untitled (Love Song) by Romany Rye
2. Start Again by Teenage Fanclub
3. Hospital by Coby Brown
4. Mercy by Tender Mercies
5. Meet On The Ledge by Fairport Convention
6. Like Teenage Gravity by Kasey Anderson & The Honkies
7. Amie by Pure Prairie League
8. Coming Around by Travis
9. Ooh La La by The Faces
10. All My Failures by Dawes
11. Return of the Grevious Angel by Gram Parsons
12. Four White Stallions by Tender Mercies
13. Jumping Jesus by Sordid Humor
14. You Ain't Going Nowhere by Bob Dylan
15. The Ballad of El Goodo by Big Star
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 10, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collective Sounds
  • ASIN: B0076T34SI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,103 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Storylover VINE VOICE on April 10, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Counting Crows fan since the very beginning. I've faithfully stuck with them through thick and thin, but "Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings" was a rough one for me--the music never gelled for me, and I thought that maybe the greatest days were gone for this band. Well, I'm delighted to report that Underwater Sunshine returns these guys to my CD player on heavy rotation. I've always loved Adam's particular genius with lyrics, and I was a little sad to hear that this was going to be a record of covers--but once I heard them do Aimee (originally by the Pure Prairie League), I was in heaven. And I have to say that this is just a fantastic cover record. Each of these songs is exactly the sort of song that Counting Crows is supposed to do: melodic with a Southern Rock flavor over a California rock backbone, wistful at turns, rocking at others. I expected a Dylan cover, and indeed would have been disappointed without one; fortunately, this is a great one. I didn't expect a Travis cover, but wow, it makes me remember what a great songwriting team Travis was when they were at their finest. Anyway, this is an album that is an easy win for long time fans, and should do quite well at bringing in new fans as well.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Cieslowski on April 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's funny that a ban who made it's name for deep, complex song writing would decide to release instead an album of covers, but I'm sure glad they did.

Recorded in an 'almost live' format, Underwater Sunshine really showcases the delicate skills of Counting Crows as musicians. I noticed many songs start with minimal instrumentation and build and build as the song goes. "Meet on the Ledge" adds layers and instruments every verse and ends as a soaring and encompassing symphony of sound.

The songs are all at least solid, with many great stand outs. I challenge you not to sing along with "Aime"

The liner notes of the album offer insights on the bands being covered, why they were chosen, the recording process, and some great (funny) stories about Counting Crows from back in the day and paint an envious picture of the music scene of the early 90's.

One negative, on my CD, at least, is that the tracks "Four White Stallions" and "Return of the Grievous Angel" are reversed. So when then name of the track comes on for those two songs, it's obviously wrong. This will be a pain when burning the CD, so be aware.

In any event, the amateurish mix up of the track labeling doesn't detract from the excellent musicality and strong performance of Counting Crows. I highly recommend this album to fans of Counting Crows, the Faces, Gram Parsons, Big Star, and live music.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Buzzard on April 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I feel they never leave the comfort zone on this one. That comfort zone may well be a pleasant place to be in, but I'm hearing almost every song coming through at a samey mid-tempo. Or nice and slow. It woulda been good to have at least a single rocker. Or a piano ballad. Or an acoustic ballad. Quirky secret track? Nah. No boundaries are pushed here, it's cruise control. Jogging along, so to speak.

I kinda like these songs, I wanna give the album a four. But then I realise I already have very similar Crows versions of three of these fifteen songs on Hard Candy era releases I already paid for. (It's like'damn! I paid again for that one! And that one too!') Having so many songs virtually the same as ones I was digging years ago mixed in with the new stuff really does negatively affect the way the album comes across.

It's bona fide Counting Crows, sounds nice enough, but-and I don't care if it's a covers album or not- it's not trying anything new, and it could; though the arrangements are sound, it all seems tried and tested, and it didn't begin to blow my mind. The track "Jumping Jesus" is a little edgy with some nice vocal harmonies, and it took me back to "Recovering the Satellites" for a moment. Still wish I'd waited until I could get it second hand.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dedicated Counting Crows fans, and I am one, will want to have this collection of covers, most of which are fair to good. It is a CD that I likely will play from time to time while driving long distances. For those songs that I already knew, however, none of the versions offered here truly improves on the original. And the cover of Gram Parsons classic "Return of the Grievous Angel" is clueless -- sung as a happy cowboy rock song along the lines of "Aimee." It's the reason that I can only give this CD two stars. All of the strong emotional content (the underlying weariness and sadness) that was in Gram's voice is drained away. The back story on that song is that Gram did not actually write the lyrics, but put a poem by Thomas Brown to tune. Brown had admired Parsons' music but worried about his life style and addictions and wrote the poem "Return of the Grievous Angel" about him. By the time that the album "Grievous Angel" was assembled, Parsons had died. Listen to the original version with that background in mind and then listen to the Counting Crows version. If they had invested their version of that song with the same weariness and sadness that permeated "August and Everything After," it would have hit the mark perfectly. Counting Crows is a good band with the unfortunate legacy of having produced probably the best debut album ever -- and of struggling since to live up to that legacy.
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Topic From this Discussion
who else is pumped for this crows album!!
I am! :)
I just bought tickets to their show too.

And I just recently picked up their DVD August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall, which is rad, if you haven't seen it. Read More
Feb 25, 2012 by Anonymous Coward |  See all 16 posts
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Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation)
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