Adam Duritz writes the lyrics for the Counting Crows, the whole group does the sounds, as near as I can say. I am never puzzled by those that are not interesting, and like House, interesting is all that matters. I was unaware of their existance until seeing the "Daylight Fading" video with the bathtub full of Christmas lights image. It was a memorable image, another one was the "Round Here" video of someone sweeping the sand in the desert. It was a really good way of showing life is as pointless as trying to sweep sand out of the desert. Some may say the time to be puzzled by him is over, now we know he is bipolar.
Yet he is no poster child for bipolar, he is someone who makes people who buy his music, care. Now that is some trick. It could be said his greatest talent is that of making friends, it is reported that he makes friends wherever he goes. He says that he wants to make connections with other people, that as a kid he and his family were always moving. I suppose that means he had to make friends very fast. I don't know what it means, he has jumped out of my CD player, he has entered my dreamscape, and he has written at least one of the world's best songs ever written.
At his best he is telling you what his inner world is like, and music I guess does that better than any other language. At his best songwriting I suppose he is very, very depressed.
I read a review once that called the Eagles "wordsmiths". I really liked that. It suggests that words have weight, that word making is a craft like pounding hot iron and just as physical and not a second spoken and then gone. Adam Duritz knows the power of words and when he has the most power is when he sings about himself. Yet he is not perfect, as none of us are. He sometimes seems to reek of self-pity, but again at his best all of his self-pity is not there anymore like it never existed. He sings he can do nothing but he has done a lot of things, traveled all over the world, dated Hollywood starlets aplenty if the news can be believed and then has the maybe the greatest group of musicians in his band with him too. Where does all his pain come from? It is none of my business or yours either but we can't help ourselves. My best guess is a childhood trauma that split him into a million pieces into a vortex that still spins, that will never stop spinning.
And why does pain deepen us and make us different? That is just what pain does, what it has always done and without it maybe we would not have any compassion. Still I think I see him there, somewhat confused, standing on the edge of the abyss.