Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 10 years old.
For 2011, I thought I'd focus on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other.
As debut disks go, there are not many stronger, in my opinion (of course), than the Counting Crows and their first release, August and Everything After. I'm not jumping on a bandwagon or anything, but clearly I'm not alone. Of the almost 300 reviews on amazon.com, 250+ of those are 5-star ratings.
That's what mine would be too.
Without a bad song on the disk, it has made it hard for any other Crows album to live up to - and while they all have their moments - none of them actually meet the brilliance of August.
11 songs of rock or rock/pop leanings that change moods and direction and all at the right time and place. The sequencing of these songs is just as important as the songs themselves.
Yes, there is the continual oft-played "Mrs. Jones", but unlike so many other overplayed radio songs, this one has never worn out its welcome for me. Actually, it was the only "hit" on the record, though you could make an argument for "Round Here" as well, but I never heard it on commercial radio.
Oddly enough, it was the TV show Homicide playing "Raining in Baltimore" that made me pick up the CD. The angst and loneliness of the song somewhat haunted me. It is still a great song.
They all are. I'd single out the good songs, but then you'd just have a listing all 11 songs.
Unlike most disks, even of this era, this was a well put together album and not a collection of individual/random songs that made up a disk. Those kind have not string or heart running through them, connecting it all. August has that. There is no filler here.
Pushing almost 20 years old, it does not show its age, because it holds up so well. This could have easily been released then or two weeks ago.