39 August and Everything After by Counting Crows 1993
I really shouldn't like this it all. The kind of non descript American rock that normally has me switching for the off switch , the whiniest of vocals and released at a time when there were a plethora of stodgy rock bands that seemed to blend into each other.
However there was something a bit different about Counting Crows. They could do miserable and I do like miserable but they also have a great ear for a pop tune
Adam Duritz is also blessed with a clever turn of phrase. The songs switch between character based short stories and the autobiographical , often blending so you aren't sure which is which.
Although the detail is such that even the short stories seem like they come from something real (Mr Jones being a great case in point in that on one level it feel like a Carver short story when in fact it is about a close friend)
The catchy songs got them noticed but it is the slower more mellow affairs where the band really shine
Raining in Baltimore for me is the highlight. I've featured it before but it is worth a re listen. It captures to perfection that sense of helplessness that comes with a long distance love affair
Raining in Baltimore - Counting Crows
The lp suggests that Duritz's mind isn't somewhere very pleasant to hang out as you get the sense that he has lived this sadness and this realness makes this one of my favourite when I'm feeling low lps
you can buy the lp here