Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)
For many fans, Underwater Sunshine is nothing more than a stop-gap collection of cover tunes. Throwaways, really. But it's more than that. It's a ragged reaffirmation of the Counting Crows' roots in classic folk-rock and earth-stained power pop. Long past the pressure of having to record pop hits, the band sounds like a bunch of dudes having fun rummaging through their fave albums. Not only that, their taste is unimpeachable: Fairport Convention's "Meet on the Ledge," Gram Parson's "Return of the Grievous Angel," Big Star's "The Ballad of El Goodo." The only thing missing is a Gene Clark tune.