Counting Crows’ New ‘Underwater Sunshine’ Cover Album Is Awesome (And Free!), You Guys

Counting Crows are back with a 15-track covers record.

Few bands (that have never appeared on a Warped Tour stage) do unbridled, yet highly palatable naked angst the way the Counting Crows do. (I truly challenge you to find someone old enough to remember at least the first George W. Bush term if not Clinton’s second lap who doesn’t hold a Counting Crows album in extremely high nostalgic regard.) And I’m not saying I wouldn’t be happy if Adam Duritz sang another song involving raincoats or phone calls. But it’s equally as satisfying to hear my personal ’90s heroes taking on other artists’ hits on their new Underwater Sunshine album, the band’s first cover album. The generous 15-track set ranges from ’70s classics by Big Star and the Faces (remember that killer track from the end of “Rushmore”?) to more modern, lesser-known efforts — the Romany Rye’s “Untitled Love Song” and Coby Brown’s “Hospital,” among others.

Listen to Counting Crows’ Underwater Sunshine cover album after the jump.

The result is a loose, lively session, driven by the band’s broad acoustic sound and Duritz’s heart-in-his-throat vocals. Despite singing others’ lyrics, he still finds a way to make them personal: “Hospital,” with its lines about “pills that I shouldn’t take,” struck home for the singer. “The doctors decided to take me off a bunch of meds they had me on,” he told Paste. “Coming off of them was a nightmare… Literally, in the studio the day we were doing that song I was twitching and shaking and I could not stop it.”

Still, he sounds confident, healthy and as agreeably wistful as ever on the chugging “Meet on the Ledge” and “The Ballad of El Goodo,” which glimmers with Big Star’s power-pop magic. Guitars, you guys! We still love ‘em.

Underwater Sunshine is out April 10, a perfect day to alphabetize the CDs in your Case Logic binder. They’ll totally be worth something on eBay someday — we’re saving ours to donate to the Smithsonian in 2050.

+ Listen to Counting Crows’ Underwater Sunshine cover album, and find out more about each cover song.

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