Somewhere Under Wonderland

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Somewhere Under Wonderland
A simple blue monotone painting of a man seated wearing a hat with the album and artist name painted above in white
Studio album by Counting Crows
Released September 2, 2014
Recorded December 2013 and February 2014
Studio Fantasy Recording Studios in Berkeley
Genre Alternative rock, roots rock
Length 41:23[1]
Label Capitol
Producer Brian Deck
Counting Crows chronology
Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow
(2013)Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow2013
Somewhere Under Wonderland
(2014)
Singles from Somewhere Under Wonderland
  1. "Palisades Park"
    Released: July 8, 2014
  2. "Scarecrow"
    Released: September 2, 2014

Somewhere Under Wonderland is the seventh studio album by American rock band Counting Crows, released on September 2, 2014 in the United States through Capitol Records, and on September 15, 2014 in the UK, through Virgin EMI. It is available on CD, vinyl and as a digital download. The album is the band's first album of original material in six years since 2008's Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings.

The album marks the band's first release on Capitol Records. After parting with original label Geffen Records of 18 years in 2009, the band released two live albums and a studio album of cover songs independently. While touring in the "Outlaw Roadshow," a traveling festival show sponsored by the band in part with the music blog Ryan's Smashing Life, the band began to write new material. After recording independently, they shopped the album around to eight or nine labels and finally signed with Capitol.[2]

Background and recording[edit]

Writing of material for the new album began early in 2013 and continued during that year's summer tour.[3] Duritz explained in concert that "God of Ocean Tides" was the first new song he'd written in years, and was inspired by leaving Nashville on their tour bus at two in the morning.[4] Duritz, Powers, Vickrey, and Immerglück got together in New York City that August for a 10-day writing session during which they wrote six songs. Expecting to go into the studio in late Fall 2013, the band began recording for the new album in early December and finished in February 2014.

Release[edit]

Singles[edit]

The lead single from Somewhere Under Wonderland, titled "Palisades Park", was released on July 8, 2014. It was followed with a second single, "Scarecrow".

Album[edit]

Somewhere Under Wonderland was released on September 2, 2014, through Capitol Records. There is a limited deluxe edition available that includes a hardcover book, deluxe CD, vinyl albums, art work, lyrics, credits and more.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 74/100[5]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[6]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[7]

Somewhere Under Wonderland has received mostly positive feedback from music critics. At Metacritic, they assign a "weighted average" rating out of 100 to selected independent ratings and reviews from mainstream critics, and the album has received a Metascore of a 74, based on 10 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[5]

Fred Thomas of AllMusic rating the album four stars, saying how "Somewhere Under Wonderland distinctively Counting Crows. Duritz's raspy voice and lucid, lyrical stories always hold just a hint of desperation, and even decades into a staggered career, these new tunes can’t help but feel like part of a larger narrative that began during the band’s '90s glory days but finds further, greater refinement here."[1] In a three stars review on behalf of Rolling Stone, Jon Dolan writes how "Adam Duritz is still the same dreadlocked dreamer you remember from the Nineties, channeling Van Morrison, R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen into word-zonked ballads that reference Jackie-O., Elvis, Johnny Appleseed and more."[6] Helen Brown of The Daily Telegraph calls the album "their best collection of songs since their debut."[7]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Adam Duritz.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Palisades Park" Duritz 8:21
2. "Earthquake Driver" Duritz and David Immerglück 3:31
3. "Dislocation" Duritz, Immerglück, Millard Powers, and Dan Vickrey 4:55
4. "God of Ocean Tides" Duritz, Powers, and Vickrey 3:12
5. "Scarecrow" Duritz, Immerglück, Powers, and Vickrey 4:47
6. "Elvis Went to Hollywood" Duritz and Immerglück 3:56
7. "Cover Up the Sun" Duritz, Immerglück, Powers, and Vickrey 3:46
8. "John Appleseed's Lament" Duritz, Immerglück, Powers, and Vickrey 4:43
9. "Possibility Days" Duritz 4:12
Total length: 41:23[1]
Deluxe edition with bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
10. "Earthquake Driver" (Demo) Duritz and Immerglück 3:30
11. "Scarecrow" (Demo) Duritz, Immerglück, Powers, and Vickrey 4:13
Total length: 49:09

Personnel[edit]

Counting Crows
Additional musicians
  • Brian Deck – glockenspiel on "Palisades Park" and "God of Ocean Tides", hand claps on "Earthquake Driver", production, mixing at The Magic Shop in New York City in April 2014
  • Eric Hillman – Backing vocals on "Cover Up the Sun"
  • Brian Holl – backing vocals on "Cover Up the Sun"
  • John Paul Roney – backing vocals
  • Chris Watson – trumpet on "Palisades Park"
Technical personnel
  • Shawn Dealey – engineering
  • Jason Butler – assistant engineering
  • Greg Calbi – mastering at Sterling Sound in New York City
  • Kabir Hermon – assistant engineering, engineering
  • Albert Hernandez – assistant engineering
  • Eric Hillman – vocal engineering
  • Felipe Molina – art conception, paintings

Chart performance[edit]

Somewhere Under Wonderland debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 32,000 copies in its first week.[8] It marks the band's sixth top 10 album.[8]

In Canada, the album debuted at No. 10 on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 1,500 copies.[9]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[10] 27
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[11] 12
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[12] 56
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 36
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 15
US Billboard 200[15] 6

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label
United States September 2, 2014 Capitol
United Kingdom September 15, 2014 Virgin EMI

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Thomas, Fred (August 29, 2014). "Somewhere Under Wonderland - Counting Crows | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ Graff, Gary (2014-04-21). "Counting Crows' Duritz: New Album Will Be 'More Imaginative'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  3. ^ "MSN Exclusives: Counting Crows". MSN Canada. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  4. ^ Hoffman, William (2014-06-18). "Counting Crows test new music at the Ryman". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  5. ^ a b Metacritic. "Critic Reviews for Somewhere Under Wonderland". CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 3, 2014.  line feed character in |title= at position 19 (help)
  6. ^ a b Dolan, Jon. "Counting Crows's New Album: Somewhere Under Wonderland". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. September 11, 2014 (1217): 62. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Brown, Helen (September 14, 2014). "Counting Crows, Somewhere Under Wonderland, review: 'nineties nostalgia'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (September 10, 2014). "Maroon 5 Tops Billboard 200 With 'V'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/weekly-music-sales-report-analysis-10-september-2014/
  10. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland". Hung Medien.
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  12. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  13. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland". Hung Medien.
  14. ^ "Counting Crows | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart
  15. ^ "Counting Crows – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Counting Crows.

External links[edit]