Late, Late Night FDL: Palisades Park
The Counting Crows have released a new album recently…
Back in the mid-Nineties, no student union jukebox was complete without a copy of the Crows’ literate, roots-rock debut August and Everything After, and despite turning out some great songs on the patchy albums that followed, the San Franciscan band slipped from the mainstream British consciousness.
Now’s a great time for Nineties nostalgics to tune back in for Adam Duritz’s first collection of original songs in six years and his best since August…?. It opens with Palisades Park, a sprawling, eight-minute tale of two friends growing up in Seventies New Jersey, “stud-straight on spiked heels and needles and nerves”; offers playful radio rock with Earthquake Driver and Scarecrow; and ends with a break-up, piano-driven Possibility Days on which Duritz sighs, “I’m scared that you’ll leave and you’re scared that I’ll stay… and we only saw half the ballet.”
At 50, the wild-haired frontman is still finding exhilaration in heartbreak, loneliness in fame and adventure in everyday America. Sure, he is grandiose and self-absorbed, but like a friendly trucker at the wheel of a big rig, he welcomes listeners aboard his road movie narratives.
Still channelling Lynyrd Skynyrd, REM and the Band, the rest of the Crows keep the tyres on the tarmac like pros.
What’s on your mind tonite…?