It had been 76 months since Adam Duritz wrote an album. Counting Crows created an amazing cover album in 2012, and the band released two live albums in between the last time Duritz had original songs. That changed earlier this summer when Duritz played a handful of new songs, leading up to the debut of Somewhere Under Wonderland, which Capitol Records released September 2. Duritz has been around for what feels like forever now. He turned 50 over the summer. He’s dated celebrities Jennifer Aniston, Emmy Rossum, Courteney Cox and Monica Potter. Duritz has been known for his trademark dreads, scoring hot chicks and writing depressing music. Duritz also has battled a mental illness, which forced him to stop writing for a while. He took time off, and focused on live shows and helping out other artists. Duritz, along with Ryan Spaulding, host The Outlaw Roadshow featuring many up-and-coming artists. Duritz constantly endorses those artists on his Twitter feed, and also had one of the bands, Daniel and the Lion, open up for Counting Crows during this past summer’s tour. Somewhere Under Wonderland illustrates how far Duritz has come since his previous meltdowns. It has nine tracks, including an eight-minute single titled “Palisades Park,” which will make anybody look back on their teenage summers. Duritz last album, Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, depicted a weekend full of partying and fun, and then the hangover filled with regret and disappointment. It had sad lyrics, and it makes sense why Duritz decided to stop writing immediately following that album. The break from writing definitely helped Duritz, and it may have given him a second career. Casual music fans know Counting Crows for “Mr. Jones,” “Accidentally in Love,” “Big Yellow Taxi” cover and when everybody Tweets a lyric from “A Long December” sometime during the last month of the year. Although Counting Crows have had a much better career than a few radio hits, the public has viewed them as basically one-hit wonders. Lyrically, Somewhere Under Wonderland might be the best Duritz has written, and nearly each song has more hope than sorrow. Duritz has suffered from depersonalization disorder, which makes the world seem like it’s not real. During shows it looks like Duritz sometimes finds himself lost in the music. He puts so much of himself into the music since he cares so much about it. Something has changed about Duritz, and although he still deals with his mental health on a daily basis, he’s back, and better than ever.
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