Four years have passed since the Dave Matthews Band released their last studio album. After filling in the time with two live albums, an interview album and a popular acoustic tour with Tim Reynolds, the Dave Matthews Band have finally released, “”Everyday.””
“”Under The Table & Dreaming”” was the first major release that introduced Dave and his band to the rest of the world. “”Crash”” was released in 1996, and by then the entire world was familiar with the eclectic acoustic guitar sound, Matthews’ smooth and sexy vocals and the lively sounds of the rest of the band.
In 1998, with “”Before These Crowded Streets,”” the Dave Matthews Band began to explore new ground with their sound by including a gospel choir and experimenting more with their melodies and their sound. But they remained distinctively Dave Matthews songs.
Their recent release of “”Everyday”” continues to show the progression of the Dave Matthews Band and the evolution of their sound. The album may be difficult to listen to at first because it doesn’t have the obviously catchy tunes found in previous songs like “”Ants Marching”” and “”Crash.””
The chord progressions are more complex and the melodies are a bit more difficult to find. Much of the pop edge has been wiped away and it reveals a much broader sound that requires a little patience.
Carter Beauford’s drums have not changed much; they are one of the most varied and eclectic of any drummer in music today. Bass player Stefan Lessard is the youngest member of the band, but he has developed into quite a talented bass player. There is even a touch of keyboard in many of the tracks
Saxophone player Leroi Moore and violinist Boyd Tinsley have been pushed to new musical levels. Moore adds the flute and the contra-bass clarinet to his usual duties on the baritone, alto and tenor sax. Tinsley actually used a wah-wah pedal to push the tones on his violin to new heights. Tinsley even offers his vocal talents on various songs, especially on “”I Did It.””
The most obvious change in the latest evolution of the Dave Matthews Band sound is the use of electric guitars by Matthews. The lush acoustic sound has been slowly replaced by the rough edge of electric guitars and even a baritone guitar on several tracks.
Here is a track-by-track listing of the new album by the Dave Matthews Band:
Every song on “”EVERYDAY””
“”I Did It””
This song has been getting a lot of radio play and is heavily bass-driven. “”I Did It”” sets the tone for the rest of the album with its thick bass line and guitars. The chorus has a melody that is vaguely reminiscent of Aerosmith, and Tinsley drops a little spoken-word element into the middle of the track.
“”When the World Ends””
This track also follows the pattern of a thick bass line. There is definitely a smooth groove to the song, but it seems to follow the same formula and flavor of “”I Did It.””
“”The Space Between””
The electric guitar is very apparent in the first few seconds of this track. It is distinctly different from the acoustic ballads of previous Dave Matthews songs. The chorus has some Toto-esque elements with cascading and atmospheric guitar riffs.
“”Dreams of Our Fathers””
With the first three notes you automatically think “”Satellite,”” but with the pace of and vocal complexity of “”Too Much.”” There is also a Police-like feel to the guitar part.
A funky guitar jam opens up this track and it can be the perfect song to cruise down the city streets with the top down. The vocals are strong and soaring, but the lyrics a bit too simplified.
“”If I Had It All””
The acoustic guitar makes its first appearance in the early moments of the track, but then returns to the heavy bassline.
“”What You Are””
Riverdance comes to mind with the string arrangements in this song. But the song offers a lot of beautiful harmonies and dark undertones in the chorus.
A soft saxophone drives this entire song. “”Angel”” stands as one of the strongest tracks on the album, with a relaxing beat and vintage Dave Matthews singing; the kind that makes you swoon.
“”Fool To Think””
There is a blatant “”Message in a Bottle”” vibe to this song. It seems as if the band took the first notes on the guitar riff of the famous Police song. Even the drum beats and the rim shots are straight from the Police school of thought.
“”Sleep to Dream Her””
Dave Matthews’ sultry vocals are prominent in this song, which is backed by weeping strings and a soft syncopated, almost ska-like guitar part. Then it gives way to a theatrical string arrangement and showcases the plaintive saxophone of Moore.
This song features Carlos Santana and percussionist Karl Perrazo. The lovely Spanish guitar softly picks in the background with Santana’s trademark electric guitar. There is a definitely a Latin flavor to this song that makes for a solid song and a future radio hit.
The uplifting title track has the support of the gospel choir sound, which was introduced in “”Before These Crowded Streets.”” This is much lighter than the rest of the album and it returns to the classic acoustic guitar sound. It’s a song that makes you glad that you were patient enough to listen to the entire album.
Once you’re done, try the album again and you’ll find that these tracks really grow on you.