Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Crows Have a Jersey Teaser for Arts Center Show

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Crows Have a Jersey Teaser for Arts Center Show

Article excerpt

Counting Crows' latest album, "Somewhere Under Wonderland," features singer-lyricist Adam Duritz's dizzying wordplay, vivid imagery and story-songs that recall early Bruce Springsteen, nowhere more so than on the nod-to-Jersey album opener, "Palisades Park."

The whirlwind 8-minute track is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the iconic former amusement park that straddled the cliffs of Fort Lee and Cliffside Park above the Hudson River. Duritz said the park has fascinated him since childhood -- even though he grew up in San Francisco.

"I read a lot of 1950s and 1960s comics growing up," said Duritz, 51. "Palisades Park would always advertise in the back of the comics. Later I realized it was because 50 percent of the comics in the United States were sold in New York. But I was always curious and never understood why Superman was telling me to go to this amusement park in New Jersey. It seemed like a magical place."

Counting Crows will perform tracks from "Somewhere Under Wonderland" along with classic material on Saturday in Holmdel. "Somewhere Under Wonderland," the New York- and California-based band's first album of new material in six years, was released last September and hit No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart.

The disc is a musically diverse collection. Standout tracks range from the bright and airy "Earthquake Driver" and delicate, acoustic "God of Ocean Tides" to the straight-ahead melodic rock of "Dislocation" and the country-tinged "Cover Up the Sun."

Duritz's lyrics on "Dislocation" reference his battle with mental illness. The singer has dissociative identity disorder, which causes its sufferers to feel as though they are outside observers of themselves and no longer in control of their thoughts and actions. Duritz went public with his longtime illness in 2008, though he had written about the subject indirectly on many Counting Crows songs before then.

He said his friends have told him he's taken a big step forward as a writer on "Somewhere Under Wonderland," which moves away from autobiographical subject matter.

"A friend told me that I've been writing for 20 years about what it's like to live with mental illness but this record is not as limited," Duritz said. …

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