Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Counting Crows Grow Up

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Counting Crows Grow Up

Article excerpt

When singer Adam Duritz started writing lyrics for the new Counting Crows album he expects will be out in September, called "Somewhere Under Wonderland," he almost didn't recognize the person or the meanings behind the words that were landing on the page.

"It's weird," he said in a recent phone interview. "I didn't understand these songs the way I have always understood my songs. (Before) I had a gut feeling. I knew what they were. I knew how good they were right away. But these ones felt like... expressing stuff on a much broader level, all kinds of stories and imagery and stuff I'd never gotten to use before when I've just been writing about myself in a room."

It wasn't until after the songs were recorded that Duritz came to gain better insights about what was happening in his lyric writing. One day he was visiting a friend and fellow songwriter, Dave Godowsky (who often records under the name John Shade) and Duritz commented about feeling the songs were "weirdly less personal" and maybe that was why he didn't understand them.

Godowsky's response startled Duritz at first. He found the new songs to be much more personal. Duritz picked up the conversation from there.

"I think you're looking at the songs wrong," Duritz said, quoting his friend. "I think you've been writing these stories in this long form epic tragedy about you being crazy and how it ****s up your life.That's not all you are. The truth is you're funny, too, and have dumb jokes and you think of bizarre s*** all the time. And like these songs are more like really what it's like to spend a couple of hours inside your head."

Duritz quickly realized Godowsky was on to something.

As Godowsky's observations suggest, Duritz - over Counting Crows' six previous albums - became famous for writing serious autobiographical lyrics that have examined his life, his relationships and the factors that form his personality and behavior. …

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