The Counting Crows have been a favourite band of mine for a long time, ever since their first release, August and Everything After, back in 1993. However, recently I've been rediscovering just how amazing they truly are. I own all four of their studio albums, plus a host of rare and live recordings, and I saw them in concert on an amazing double-bill with Live back in August 2000.
A Counting Crows song is poetry that happens to be to music. As an added bonus, the music itself is incredible on its own. In "Mr Jones", Adam Duritz says "I want to be Bob Dylan". Well, in my opinion, he is the Dylan of our generation. The difference being that while Dylan spoke of social issues and was the voice of a public, Duritz's lyrics are intensely personal, almost to the point of being self-absorbed. Despite that, they touch all kinds of people so on some level they must have a degree of universality to them.
Counting Crows is probably the most introspective of my favourite bands. A thousand different meanings and interpretations can be read into every line. It's just so much more powerful than all that empty pop-crap out there. To quote Adam Duritz, "The most important thing about this band is heart. That's where the songs come from: that's what I'd most want people to understand. What sounds good or looks good, that's nothing. The only worthwhile thing in art is seeing someone else's heart."
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