Dave Matthews Band
With 20 million albums sold thus far, The Dave Matthews Band doesn't need hits, which is why the thought of Glen Ballard getting his formulaic, hit-making hands all over the group's new album is frightening to many fans.
But Matthews was floundering in a Charlottesville, Va. studio last summer, recording an album with which he was far from enamored. Enter Ballard, best known previously for his collaborations with Alanis Morissette and Aerosmith, among others.
Surprise, surprise, the chemistry clicked. After a flight to L.A., where they worked for nine days, Ballard and Matthews had written 10 songs. Matthews tossed aside the previously recorded work, and shifted focus to the newer material, which forms the basis of “Everyday.”
This is definitely different than previous DMB offerings. The songs are more concise and less jam-oriented, and Matthews has abandoned his trademark acoustic guitar in favor of electric, giving much of the set a harder edge. But to a large degree, the disc exceeds expectations and marks a musical step forward for Matthews and his mates.
Matthews has certainly been listening to the fevered fashion by which fans react to his earlier erotic visions, such as “Crash,” and there's plenty more heat to go around on this disc. Along with the gospel-traced “All You Need is Love” theme to the title track, songs such as “Angel,” and especially the percussive “So Right,” sizzle. The latter standout, with Matthews growling “Our love is so right,” also showcases Boyd Tinsley's sparkling violin work and Leroi Moore's soaring sax more prominently than many of the other cuts on the disc.
Still, it is a band effort through and through, with the only major guest appearance provided by Carlos Santana, whose Latin-fueled electric guitar runs provide a colorful accent for the lyrically contemplative “Mother Father.”
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