I’ve been a Counting Crows fan from the day I heard “Mr. Jones”. In my opinion, people willing to sit down and listen to the songs Adam Duritz writes will find unfairly ridiculed gems. I said that to my wife and she scoffed, saying, “Nobody but you listens to that band, Bryan.” Her “nobody but you” really referred to our little circle of commercial radio scoffing snobs, but the point was made and it hung in the balance between us. I can’t say I’ve ever turned her into a Counting Crows fan, just like I doubt I ever made any new Mellencamp fans around here, despite my continual raves of his albums.

That said, reading that the band was putting out a covers album left me incredibly underwhelmed. I am naturally distrustful of the cover song. Why did the band include this track? Did they love it? Were they unable to write an original that they were happy with and needed to fill some time? Why? Why? Why? You never truly know with a cover song, and ever so rarely am I truly happy with the result. But I’m talking about a song on an album. This…this is an album of songs. And they’re all covers.

As you can imagine, my distrust of the cover track expands exponentially when it’s a cover album. Don’t like the idea of them. Not one bit. Too often, a band puts out a cover album that sounds exactly like that; a band playing other bands’ songs. To be honest, there are moments where Underwater Sunshine sounds exactly like that. Lucky for us, they’re pretty far and few between.

On my second pass through this album I took out a sheet of paper and made 3 columns; “Good”, “Bad”, “Okay” and I started counting songs. The final score played out like this: Good (7), Bad (2) and Okay (7), and for a cover album, that’s a homerun.

The highlight of the album very well may be their version of a (once our very own) Kasey Anderson track, “Like Teenage Gravity”. Listening to it is funny. More so than any other track on this cd, “Like Teenage Gravity” feels like it is a Counting Crows song. Honestly, it’s given me a desire to go back and listen to Kasey’s discography with a renewed focus and, in the end, isn’t that the focus of a cover album? Judging from Adam’s track by track writeup on Paste, I think he would say yes…

Here are two of my favorite tracks and one I hated.

Counting Crows – Like Teenage Gravity (Kasey Anderson)
Counting Crows – Hospital (Coby Brown)
Counting Crows – Jumping Jesus (Sordid Humor)

Counting Crows’ Official Site, Counting Crows on Facebook, Counting Crows on Spotify, Buy Underwater Sunshine


  1. Wow! Can’t believe I found another Counting Crows fan. Thought I might be the last one who would admit it….
    I’ve had this album since it’s release, but as of yet not listened to it in album form. Just pick a song or two at a time. I despise cover albums. G’n’R ruined the concept for me….. That being said, with your review, maybe I should listen to this as a whole.

  2. Have yet to really get into The Counting Crows, but I just wanted to say you’ve made at least one new Mellencamp fan. His last two albums have both become favorites, and have led me to look deeper into the back catalog that I’ve previously dismissed and find some quality songs there as well.

  3. I love The Counting Crows (and Mellencamo too) so it’s great to find other fans! Underwater Sunshine has kind of grown on me. The first time I listened to it I felt a little let down but I am really starting to like it. Forget the fact that it is a collection of covers and keep an open mind while listening and I think it will pass the mark for most people.
    As for Mellencamp – I have everything he’s ever done and seen him too many times to count. He rules in my book! Can’t get my hands around his art though – a little strange for me!

  4. Ive been a fan since they started, but dont think adam duritz could do anything not worth listening to.

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