COUNTING CROWS / August and Everything After (1993)
I’m not sure if I’ve known anyone else to make feeling maudlin sound more beautiful than The Duritz and company. Birthed fully formed, here, they revel in emotional fragility while not being afraid to raise rousing calls for resilience when fleeting courage inevitably strikes. Verily, the most fulfilling interludes involve Adam remembering that we are worth more than the shit we do to one another could ever justify. Still, even the bleakest and most stark lyrical moments are completely buoyed by a glistening safety net of consummate folk-rock musicianship.