Monday, September 5, 2011

Counting Crows "August & Everything After"

Album: "August & Everything After"
Artist: Counting Crows
Release: September, 1993

I just typed this post, a long, drawn-out explanation of all the things I love and...well, don't love about this record.  Then the interwebs ate it (bastards), so this will be the Reader's Digest condensed version of that post. 

Anyway, since August is officially over and fall appears to be settling in (albeit a touch early), I thought now was the perfect time to review "August & Everything After".  I bought this record when I was 15 years old.  It had just come out, 'Mr. Jones' was ALL over the radio and I loved it.  Of course now, as so often happens, the song I bought the record for is my least favorite.  In fact, 'Mr. Jones' has been so over-done, I'm totally over it.  I often skip it altogether.  The rest of the album though, what can I say?  It destroys me.  It tears me down to the tender little bits.  It pulls out the pieces I try to hide, the parts that are hard to look at and shows them to me in all their glory.  And it makes me love it.  Every minute.

'Time and Time Again' takes me back to every time a relationship just couldn't be made right and every time I felt like I had fallen short.  'Anna Begins' makes it clear that none of us are alone in our struggle to accept love when it is given, to allow ourselves to be changed by it.  Probably because it has essentially been part of the soundtrack to my entire life (or at least the last 18 years), this record seems able to fit every situation in some way.

Adam Duritz has a voice like I had never heard before (or since) and I could listen to it all day.  Is it the most beautiful?  The most melodic?  Maybe not, I don't know, but it gets to me.  His vocals, his lyrics, they get under my skin and make a nest there. This record has climbed inside me and became part of my fabric.  Not to mention, 'Perfect Blue Buildings' is a perfect little song.  Full of the angsty goodness appropriate to the era.
"I wanna get me a little, oblivion, baby, and try to keep myself away from myself and me." I mean, who can't relate to that??  And besides, isn't settling into a good record (or even just a good song) and letting it take you over all about finding a little oblivion?

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