Let this one play Everyday
By Brendan G., Grade 12, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB
by Dave Matthews Band
RCA Records (2001)
The multi-dimensional eclectic blend of beautiful jams and ballads, known as the Dave Matthews Band's repertoire, has been expanded once again to include tunes the likes of anything their critics had ever expected.
"Everyday", being DMB's (as die-hard fans know them) fifth studio album since their modest beginnings in 1991, takes on a whole new feeling compared to their previous albums that were filled with smooth flowing violin, horn, or keyboard solos. This straying away from their roots of exemplifying instruments (i.e. songs now seeming more concise) along with the temporary change in producers from Steve Lillywhite to Glen Ballard had DMB critics ready to shout "sell-outs!". Nonetheless, after an hour or two of indulgence into this fresh and crisp new creation, we remember why this small-town bar-band has been around for over a decade evolving into one of the biggest live gigs in the world.
The album's first single "I Did It" opens up this CD with an intense guitar riff hitting on different areas of your speaker system with every note. With your attention caught, the band proceeds with "When The World Ends"- another of Matthews love-struck croonings backed by sexy and sleek baritone guitar, violin, and light drumming. Though this type of lyrical love song is common, representing at least half of "Everyday's" song themes, their musical backdrops differ on every track. From the upbeat mix of energetic guitar riffs and awakening saxophone heard on ‘So Right', to the soft and jazzy melodies of ‘Angel' (resembling a relaxed Jimi Hendrix on the guitar), the band promises to never bore by giving in to convention. Carter Beauford (drums, congas, vibraphone, bongos, background vocals), Stefan Lessard (electric bass guitar), Dave Matthews (vocals, acoustic/baritone/electric guitar), Leroi Moore (tenor/alto sax, contra bass clarinet, flute, background vocals), and Boyd Tinsley (violins, background vocals) represent such diversity in race and age, and achieve such a tight unity in their sound. To me, this ability to come together is as amazing as their tremendous musical skill.
Perhaps the most powerful lyrics are in the song, ‘Mother Father', which is graced by the additions of Carlos Santana. A beautiful mix of flamenco and quickened blues/jazz supports cries against the cruelties of our world: "Mother Father did you know, while one man's belly overflows, another sleeps in hunger's bed- oh would trade his world for a piece of bread". The frustration in this poetry is heightened with awesome Santana soloing and Matthews throat-straining yelps. This emotion of wanting to change our world for the better is apparent in (two of the three singles) ‘I Did It': "to change the ugly ways of our world & didn't know it felt so right, didn't know at all" and ‘Everyday': "Pick me up love, everyday& pay no mind to taunts or advances, I'm going to take my chances". The romantic side of Matthews' lovely lyrics continues to attract listeners and captivate hearts. "When the world ends, we'll be sweet, making love and I'm going to take you aside and say let's watch it fade away & when the world's gone, ours has just begun" or "Why do I come after you like I do? I love you, whatever you are, I swear, you'll be my angel, you" are phrases that will linger inside a fan forever and will strike a sentimental chord when heard live- in person or on a released concert.
Among the synthesized noise of today's pop music, DMB is staying true to who they are as musicians. Their message is being listened to, but really must be heard. Personally, I cannot help but support such morally aligned celebrities that never cease to do good for our world, and I recommend doing the same by picking up any of the band's ten, live or studio, masterpieces. Whether it is a better-known sample of DMB heard on "Crash" or "Before These Crowded Streets" or this new side of the group (that I see as equally loveable and respectable as it is so unique) you will not regret the purchase.
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