Across a Wire
First Appeared in The Music Box, April 1999, Volume 6, #4
Written by John Metzger
Leave it to the Counting Crows to follow its first two studio albums with a double live release. Many have questioned the need for Across a Wire, but one listen to the music contained on this set reveals the ingenious creativity of this multi-faceted group. The recordings were taken from the band’s appearances on VH-1’s Storytellers and MTV’s Live at the 10 Spot. One of the Counting Crows’ goals of performing on Storytellers was to present reworked versions of its songs. Therefore, although several of the tunes are repeated between the two discs, they are given remarkably different treatments.
Perhaps the greatest contrast is in the two versions of Have You Seen Me Lately? On disc one, the song is given a stripped-down arrangement that carries a sad and lonely aura, while the rendition on disc two is truer to the angrier studio recording.
Throughout Across a Wire, Adam Duritz’s voice has never sounded better. He masterfully channels the deep-seated emotion behind his lyrics as the band bathes his vocals in both swirling angst and subtle nuance. There’s never a dull moment at a concert by Counting Crows, and this set certainly captures the group at its best.
Across a Wire is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1999 The Music Box