by Counting Crows
~ There’s a certain California sound to these guys ~
A lot of bands suffer from a sophomore slump because they have several years of accumulated material to put on their first album, so they are essentially picking their greatest hits from 5 years of gigging in clubs. And then they struggle to write a second album because they burned thru all their best material for the first one.
There have been a handful of artists that have avoided that trap: Sheryl Crow and Tesla both spring immediately to mind. Counting Crows are definitely on that list.
Their first album was a clinic in great songwriting with any number of complex personal themes mixed in with some lush instrumentation. But unfortunately too many of the songs started to blend together, almost like a janglier and more angst-filled Soundgarden album. They didn’t suffer from that problem on their follow-up. Not only are the lyrical themes more varied, but the music is as well. This simple slice of pop-rock goodness is an excellently-constructed tune with a beat that drives along, a chorus that you can easily hum along with, and Adam’s signature sound more exulting than whiny. There’s clearly a personal story behind it all, and no he’s not going to tell you who he’s singing about.