Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)

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Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)
Counting Crows - Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 10, 2012 (2012-04-10)
RecordedApril and June 2011 [1]
Genre
Length61:26
Label
Producer
  • Counting Crows
  • Shawn Dealey
Counting Crows chronology
August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall
(2011)
Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)
(2012)
Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow
(2013)

Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation) is the sixth studio album by American rock band Counting Crows, released on April 10, 2012, on Cooking Vinyl. The album is composed of cover songs, with vocalist Adam Duritz stating, "Sometimes it's great to play someone else's music and try to make it your own. Sometimes it's great just because it's fun." [2]

Contents

Produced by both the band and Shawn Dealy, the album includes compositions from the 1960s through to the 2010s, and features songs written by band's early contemporaries, Tender Mercies and Sordid Humor, both of which included members of Counting Crows before the formation of the band.

Background and recording

In March 2009, Counting Crows left Geffen Records, becoming independent recording artists for the first time in eighteen years. The band subsequently decided to record a covers album as their first independent release, with vocalist Adam Duritz noting, "it seemed [like] a good time for it." [2] In April 2011, the band began recording Underwater Sunshine, in Burbank, California, with sound engineer Shawn Dealey co-producing the sessions. Brian Deck, who had previously produced the latter half of the band's previous double album, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings (2008), mixed the album. The band collaborated to choose their favorite songs to record. [3]

The band worked on versions of Stereophonics' "Local Boy in the Photograph" and Joe Jackson's "It's Different for Girls" during the recording process; however they were not included in the final track listing. They continued to write original songs while recording the album. [4]

The band commissioned fans to create the album's artwork. [5]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic 62/100 [6]
Review scores
SourceRating
Consequence of Sound Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Daily Express Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [8]
The Guardian Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [9]
Hot Press Positive [10]
Irish Independent Negative [11]
Washington Post (by way of Associated Press)Positive [12]

The album received mixed reviews. Hot Press ' Edwin McFee who wrote that its "spirit of adventure infuses the opus with a sense of fun and excitement." [10] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian gave the album three out of five stars, remarking that it seems a "waste of energy" to release an album of covers, but a few of the tracks were surprisingly fresh. [9] Writing for Daily Express , Simon Gage called the country rock feel of the album "surprisingly lovely", but gave the effort only three out of five stars. [8] An Associated Press review was particularly positive, highlighting the country influence, saying that it "feels like a comfortable pair of jeans." [12]

Another three star review came from Matt Melis of Consequence of Sound who mentioned the country rock stylings on the songs and remarked that the album "doesn't reward listeners with definitive versions or perfect takes. Rather, it's sprinkled with 'keeper' moments and variations (subtle and not so) on originals that feel just right." [7]

A negative review came from Irish Independent 's John Meagher, who criticized both the song selection and the performances on the album as bland and no better than the originals. [11]

Track listing

  1. "Untitled (Love Song)" by The Romany Rye (written by Luke MacMaster) – 5:07
  2. "Start Again" by Teenage Fanclub (Norman Blake) – 3:33
  3. "Hospital" by Coby Brown (Coby Brown) – 3:08
  4. "Mercy" by Tender Mercies (Kurt Stevenson, Patrick Winningham, Chris Boesel) – 3:31
  5. "Meet on the Ledge" by Fairport Convention (Richard Thompson) – 3:37
  6. "Like Teenage Gravity" by Kasey Anderson (Kasey Anderson) – 5:10
  7. "Amie" by Pure Prairie League (Craig Fuller) – 4:33
  8. "Coming Around" by Travis (Fran Healy) – 2:59
  9. "Ooh La La" by Faces (Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood) – 4:37
  10. "All My Failures" by Dawes (Taylor Goldsmith) – 4:37
  11. "Return of the Grievous Angel" by Gram Parsons (Gram Parsons, Thomas Stanley Brown) – 4:22
  12. "Four White Stallions" by Tender Mercies (Patrick Winningham, Jeff Trott, Dan Vickrey) – 4:00
  13. "Jumping Jesus" by Sordid Humor (Tom Barnes, Jim Gordon) – 3:04
  14. "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" by Bob Dylan and The Byrds (Bob Dylan) – 4:19
  15. "The Ballad of El Goodo" by Big Star (Alex Chilton and Chris Bell) – 4:49

iTunes Store bonus tracks

  1. "Borderline" by Madonna (Reggie Lucas) – 4:18
  2. "Girl from the North Country" by Bob Dylan (Dylan) – 5:52

Personnel

Counting Crows

Additional musicians

Recording personnel

Charts

Chart performance for Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)
Chart (2012)Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) [13] 40
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) [14] 11
Irish Albums (IRMA) [15] 46
Italian Albums (FIMI) [16] 93
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [17] 77
UK Albums (OCC) [18] 23
US Billboard 200 [19] 11
US Independent Albums (Billboard) [20] 4
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard) [21] 3
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard) [22] 4

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References

  1. Flanary, Patrick (2012-02-06). "Exclusive: Counting Crows Want You To Hear New Album For Free". Billboard . Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  2. 1 2 Underwater Sunshine liner notes.
  3. Ragonga, Mike (2012-04-13). "Crows, Turtles & Communion: Conversations with Adam Duritz and Dave Simonett, Plus a Ben Howard, Ben Lovett & Friends Video". Huffington Post . Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  4. Hyden, Steven (2012-04-17). "Adam Duritz of Counting Crows". The A.V. Club . Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  5. Wener, Ben (2012-02-22). "Counting Crows ready to soar again, set L.A. date". The Orange County Register . Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  6. "Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation) by Counting Crows". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  7. 1 2 Melis, Matt (2012-04-16). "Album Review: Counting Crows – Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)". Consequence of Sound . Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  8. 1 2 Gage, Simon (2012-04-06). "CD Review – Counting Crows, Underwater Sunshine". Daily Express . Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  9. 1 2 Sullivan, Caroline (2012-04-05). "Counting Crows: Underwater Sunshine – Review". The Guardian . Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  10. 1 2 McFee, Edwin (2012-03-21). "Underwater Sunshine:Crows Are Flying High on Covers Record". Hot Press . Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  11. 1 2 Meagher, John (2012-04-06). "Crows cover up but don't create new heat". Irish Independent . Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  12. 1 2 "Review: Counting Crows covers a wide range of favorites on latest album, 'Underwater Sunshine'". Washington Post, originally Associated Press. 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2012-04-16.[ dead link ]
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  17. "Swisscharts.com – Counting Crows – Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  18. "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  19. "Counting Crows Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  20. "Counting Crows Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  21. "Counting Crows Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  22. "Counting Crows Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2021.