These hits propelled The Counting Crows from relative obscurity to top twenty ranking on multiple Billboard charts in 1993 and 1994. August and Everything After, one of the few albums I can listen to from start to finish without tapping the fast-forward button on my iPhone, spoke to my poetic, optimistically melancholy spirit. Song after song, lyric after lyric, I devoured every allusion, every minor chord, every whimsical statement and in the process blossomed my love affair with The Counting Crows. And Adam Duritz.
Adam Duritz. This is no accidental love. Adam Duritz fashions language in a manner that makes this wannabe writer envious. The populace knows the lyrics to the hits above and A Long December, but Duritz's true magic unfolds in lesser known songs. Sullivan Street. St. Robinson in His Cadillac Dream. Holiday in Spain. We're Only Love. Color Blind. Within these ballads (primarily), Duritz illuminates love and lust and longing and loss with hues of blue and gray and yellow as reflected in lighted mirrors and billowing clouds in a style reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald. But the most beautiful song in the entire Counting Crows' library: Anna Begins.
I cannot divulge much about why I adore Anna Begins without ruining today's trivial tidbit, but in my opinion, Anna Begins embodies unconditional love better than any song. The speaker struggles to accept the love before him, for fear of giving up too much, for uncertainty of reciprocation, for all the reasons we all hesitate to love. But then his love does something simple, a slight gesture, a common behavior, and he knows that this is love. So what is it? What does she do to solidify his love?
|Braden, maybe 6 months old, with my other great love|
The winner of today's trivia gets 99 cents to download Anna Begins from iTunes. Good luck!