257 of 326 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Dave Matthews Band for 15 years now. For awhile, every album they put out got better and better. And then came "Everyday." They moved past their traditional acoustic folk/rock success with a new producer and an edgier sound. I initially hated that album, but grew to like it. With their last album, "Busted Stuff," they began to move back to their roots, only to drift again with the release of "Stand Up."
I don't know where they were going with this album, but it's a much different sound than we've heard in the past. If I didn't recognize (somewhat) the vocals of Dave Matthews, I might even think it's from a different band. Hopefully I'll grow into this album as well, but after several listens since it's release, I've grown tired of trying to find anything worth listening to.
This album sounds like it is filled with tracks that didn't make the cut for "Everyday." It has that over processed feel but lacks the 4 or 5 great tracks that made "Everyday" a decent album. So far I've found two tracks that I don't mind listening to: "Old Dirt Hill" and "American Baby," and even those aren't very good. The problem with the songs on this album is that they're too repetitive and they lack the great lyrics and instrumental riffs that make Dave Matthews Band's music so great. You hear the same chords and lyrics over and over and over. It's almost as if they took the first minute of each song and looped it several more times. I don't even recall hearing Boyd Tinsley's violin at all on this album. They even put two lame "throwaway" tracks on this album so you're only getting 12 songs. They did that on "Before These Crowded Streets" as well but at least that song was decent. These two just sound like a bunch of noise.
The other big failure with this album are the vocals. Dave's voice sounds way too gravelly and hoarse during the entire album. He's always had somewhat rough vocals but this has been part of his charm. His voice on this album sounds like he's been smoking cigarettes for twenty years.
My biggest complaint with this album however, isn't the music, but the decision to include DRM (Digital Rights Management aka copy protection) on it. The album includes Sunncomm's Mediamax DRM. If you play it on your computer, it will install software (whether you ask it to or not), that you can virtually never uninstall. Studios somehow think this will stop copyright infringement. It doesn't. This does nothing but prevent legitimate owners from enjoying the music. People WILL find a way to rip this album and pirate it, regardless. The DRM makes zero difference in terms of piracy. Studios still don't get this. So be prepared to have problems trying to play this on your iPod if you get it.
I'd like to give this album 2.5 stars if I could, because I think I'll come to enjoy a few of the songs after several more listens, but it just really lacks the intensity and enjoyment that the band's past albums have had.
Update: 5 January 2012 - I have listened to this much more since my initial purchase almost seven years ago, and I think my review still "stands up." This is a really disappointing DMB album.
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Stand Up features a new producer for DMB, Mark Batson. Batson draws experience from working in pop and rap. DMB heralded Batson as the second coming. Truth is, Batson gave absolutely no drive to DMB. DMB just got caught up in their studio life (eating fine food, playing games, smoking joints with Batson outside the studio, etc.). No real work was done on this album. The story behind American Baby pretty much describes the entire album. Batson met with each band member individually. When violinist Boyd Tinsley came in, Batson told him to start playing. When Tinsley was testing his violin, he plucked the riff to American Baby. It was totally unintentional on Tinsley's part, but Batson made a song out of it. This is pretty much the whole album in a nutshell: Batson just looped a bunch of boring riffs over and over. To add insult to injury, Dave could NOT write lyrics for this album. There is absolutely no song that is up to snuff with anything Dave has written before. The only song that comes close is "Hello Again;" however, "Hello Again" was written outside the studio and road tested in 2004. Furthermore, Batson neutered this song by not including Carter's drum solo or the outro. Moreover, speaking of Carter, Batson totally insulted Carter on this record. For those not familiar with Carter Beauford, he is one of the best rock drummers ever. Unfortunately, Batson just looped the drums over and over and turned Carter into a drum machine. Which brings me to an important point, don't listen to DMB's lies about this album. In the hype leading up to the album, they said, "this new album will be built around Carter." Hahah, sure DMB. They will also contend that this is their best album in some of their promotional material. However, that's also bullox. In the most recent interviews with the band members, they are trashing Stand Up. While they are not coming out and saying that it sucks, they have said in no uncertain terms that it does not live up to their potential.
Now a song by song review:
The crappiness of this album is epitomized by "Dreamgirl." First off, they couldn't even spell it right on the album. According to Dave on VH1 Storytellers, this song sets a high standard for all the other songs on the album. I'm confident in saying that this is the worst song on the album. Not only is it the cheesiest song title ever, the lyrics are absolutely horrendous: "I would dig a hole all the way to china, unless of course you were there, and then I'd dig my way home."
Next on to the second worst song of the album, "Old Dirt Hill." This is pretty typical Stand Up repetitiveness. Musically, it is just guitar and drums on a continuous loop. Lyrically, it is an abomination to anything DMB has ever produced. Most of the song consists of the horrendous line, "bring that beat back to me" It is repeated ad nausium. Then, he includes this line:"first time I kissed you I lost my legs." I'm not quite sure what this means, but it makes absolutely no sense, like the entire song.
Stand Up (For It) is the next song on the album. By far, it is not the worst song on the album, but it is definitely lacking. The lyrics are poorly written and crass (about sex and drugs). Carter continues to be a drum machine and the band members help him out by clapping and shouting "Stand Up" throughout the song. This is definitely a poorly written and executed song.
Following Stand Up, the listener is bombarded with gun shots from American Baby Intro. Musically, it is just 4 notes played over and over with a violin solo. Dave says, "she says" over and over. There is absolutely no point to this song. It has virtually no lyrics, it relates in no way to American Baby, it is rubbish.
American Baby, this song has already been discussed. It is good by Stand Up standards, but it does not compare to many of DMB's other singles. Again, Carter and Boyd are turned into machines. It is kind of a catchy tune, though.
Next, Smooth Rider. It's a decent song. The lyrics alright, but it, again, is not anything special.
Now, Matthews hits the politics hard with Everybody Wake Up (Our Finest Hour Arrives). This song is also decent, but the song is too electric sounding for DMB. It too is kind of catchy.
Out of My Hands is a song written outside of the studio. It is just Dave faintly playing piano and a little bit of the drum machine. This songs makes absolutely NO use the band members. Roi, Boyd, and Butch are absolutely nowhere to be found in this song. Furthermore, it shares lyrics with Everybody Wake Up. This is a testament to how lazy DMB got in the studio.
Hello Again is the best song on the album. Lyrically, it is solid. Musically, it is solid. Batson, however, cut out some good parts of it.
Louisiana Bayou, while a good song live, is probably the most annoying song on the album. It is VERY repetitive and dave says "you" over and over. It will easily make you want to pull your hair out, at a minimum.
Stolen Away features a pretty a cool sax riff. I don't really have anything against this song except that the drum machine is still present.
You Might Die Trying is probably the most DMB sounding song on the album. It features Carter's new electric drum pad (AKA "the clapper") It's pretty annoying and poppy sounding. Not a terrible a song, however.
Steady As We Go. This is where things start to get crappy again. This COULD be a beautiful song, but Dave chose to make it really cheesy with trite things such as, "be the apple of your eye." Furthermore, it too is a waste of the band's talent. They only come in for a minor role at the end.
Hunger For The Great Light. Well, what can I say about this flaming piece of garbage? The great light is supposed to be analogous to an orgasm. So when Dave says "oh great light," that's what he's talking about. But that's about the only thing he says. The rest of the song is literally Dave grunting. I hate the song.
In conclusion, yes I am negative. I've listened to Busted Stuff. I've listend to Before These Crowded Streets. I've listened to Crash. I.E., I know the capability that DMB has. However, they have become complacent. They've still got "it." They haven't lost their talent; they are still an amazing live act. As a matter of fact, their Stand Up promoting tour was one of their better tours. However, they need to stop lounging around their studio and smoking weed with their producer. DMB will contend that they were in a time crunch with this record. It is simply not true. They got lazy and they know it. Hopefully, this album is a wake call for them. However, Batson is still their producer. I think he deserves another chance, but one more of these and DMB is in some serious trouble.
Also, DRM sucks. This CD has DRM. People should be able to enjoy the CD they paid for without having to suffer through programs taking over their computer. Shame on DMB and RCA for using this copy protection.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
There are two HUGE reasons not to buy this album:
(1) First, this CD is copy-protected. And this is no ordinary protection. Indeed, the 'digital keys' you need from SUNNCOMM don't even download to my computer (and may not to yours either)...and no one at SUNNCOMM or the Dave Matthews Band website will help, despite several emails. Thus, you must face that fact that you may ONLY be able to play this CD in a CD-Player! And before you even think of using it on your PC, I warn you to read what people say about SUNNCOMM and its software. I wish I never had bought this album,
(2) Second, this is not Dave Matthews best attempt. Indeed, on first listen, it is his worst album ever. I agree with the review on ArtistsDirect.com that this album may be the one where you say to yourself...I may never buy another DMB album ever again, as it is clear the best albums are already out there.
So...don't buy this album...stand up to SUNNCOMM and its insane anti-piracy software.
Say no to DMB for creating his worst album ever...by far.
144 of 189 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Yep, I bought all major Dave Matthews Band CDs releases. Why? Because I like them. Because they're CDs are usually worth it. Now they decided to implement DRM. First off, they sell well. Secondly, they are a touring band. So why implement DRM?
I guess this is the digital equivalent of human waste from a tour bus, and consumers are the boat passengers. Basically, to play this on a PC machine, you need to install a product. The product has been known to crash machines. Gee, am I going to install it?
If you have autorun on, it actually tries to install itself automatically. If I'm not mistaken, isn't that Spyware?
Now I like to listen to CDs in my office on my windows machine. Am I going to install an unverified outside product on my machine connected to my employer's internal network? No, I'm not an idiot. Nor should you. Nor should anyone. It's dangerous. If it's not open source nor made by a reputable software organization, it may contain exploits or bugs that can open up your system, and your internal network to hackers. So unless your name is Paris Hilton and don't mind being hacked, don't do it.
So, basically, it is unplayable, legally, on a normal PCs legally without compromising your system. Yep, I can now officially state that it is officially easier to download it illegally and burn it to a CD, than be a sucker like me and pay retail price. It shows the music industry has a little bit of greed, mixed with a whole lot of stupidity. I guess people like me, who respect copyrights, actually have to become hackers to enjoy legitimately paid music.
Thanks Dave Matthews Band!
Oh yeah, I've heard, though cannot confirm, that if you have a windows machine, and have an iPod, they are not compatible either. Hmmm, only 90% of all iPod users are like that. Another brilliant move there.
This is basically trickery to install a pseudo-virus on your system. If your technically naive, you probably never disabled autorun for your CD, and it exploits that. So there is your warning, placing this CD with autorun enabled will install a hidden device manager without your permission. You have been warned. If you didn't understand what I said, then you've fell into the trap that DMB set out for you - annoyance by obfuscation.
So, the bottom line is this. If the Dave Matthews Band doesn't want you to listen to their music, don't bother buying this "CD".
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have been listening to DMB for a long time now, and have always loved their creativity, chemistry and groove. This band works together like few others do, and they have clearly mastered the art of jamming. Each member of the band has their own unique talents, and most are at or near the very top of their craft. What has always made DMB exceptional was that the songwriting took advantage of that fact by allowing each member to shine in their own way and painting all the pieces together into a beautiful tapestry of artistic expression. If you've got it, flaunt it -- and they do and did, extremely well. The music was complex and contained unmatched depth and texture.
However, after many many listens and an honest attempt to really like this album, I just can't. It is a total waste of their talents (to say nothing of the fans' time and money). The songwriting is lazy and uninspired, and the lyrics are thoughtless and sung without passion. Every song on this album could be performed by a four-piece band without really trying. The sweeping sonic vistas that used to fill the bridges of their songs have been replaced by routine arrangements of simple melody that feel like they're waiting for something. There is no unique instrumentation, and each song is structured exactly the same as the next. Nobody gets a chance to shine. The closest this record gets to groove is during "Stand Up", and even that sounds like Dave made it on his Mac. I have actually found myself wondering if Carter performed on this album at all, or if the plasticky drum loops were created on a synth in someone's spare time.
I was also very disappointed that DMB made a political album, regardless of the stance it takes. "American Baby" (my least favorite track) clearly dominates the record and gives the only sense of direction to be found, because it is the only song that makes an attempt at content or substance. DMB used to transcend "current issues" and hit the core of the human condition with timeless songs about love, pain, loss, confusion and elation. With this album they've given up on all that and chosen instead to hitch themselves to thoughts rather than emotions. (Ironically, though this song is my least favorite it is also the album's saving grace, because it is the only one that shows that any real effort went into it.)
Yes, Dave's voice sounds like crap. Yes, the record is overproduced and glossy. But the problems go much deeper than that. It's as if DMB has lost their will to create the original works of beauty that in the past made them such a thing to behold. Stand up? Get out.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This is another attempt by Sony/BMG/RCA records to eliminate the illegal copying of music. I bought the Dual Disc version by accident... I opened it and plugged it into my stereo. Nada note.
Close inspection of the Case does say that the CD side doesn't conform to the CD Redbook spec and may not work in all players.
The CD side doesn't work in a Sony Walkman, 3 PCs, MAC, Sony CD Players, car players, and expensive high end audio CD players. The DVD side does work but I can't play DVDs in my car.
The Amazon description doesn't mention that the CD part will not work.
The DVD side in album mode is "enhanced" audio. This means that there is extra data for the other channels in a surround sound system. This doesn't necessarily mean that it conforms to the DVD Audio spec but there is no way to tell.
The DVD Video included is a behind the scenes look at the recording process for the album and is interesting to see once. Also included are some still pictures (for some reason, most are in black and white) of the same data from the Video. It is just like they took a few frames and made them into B&W stills so you would think they are different.
Basically, this disc is not worth the $1 extra over the copy protected DRM version. Yes, the standard CD is copy protected and still brain dead but there may be ways around the copy protection posted on the web if you look for it.
Musically, I have always liked the variety of the DMB. I don't think all songs on this album are up to snuff but some grow on you.
Unfortunately, the inability to play this CD in most of my listening venues will slow down or eliminate the time needed to have the songs grow on me.
Don't buy the DUAL DISC. Tell AMAZON to put a notice up
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I understand the vast range of opinion but we all need to appreciate the reality of this album. This album is not Dave Matthews Band material. From a studio standpoint, I can understand the need and maybe even the desire to branch out to something more melodic and beat driven. But what brings diehard DMB fans to his concerts, what defines the passion people display for his older albums? It is the sheer artistry of their talents as musicians (which is undetectable on this album) and the lyrics that Dave Matthews has come close to patenting (which were completely uninspired on this album).
Let's face it, if you are a true DMB fan, of course you'll still listen to them, of course you'll still see their concerts, and still buy their CDs. No true fan is going to abandon DMB. But it's disheartening to think that maybe DMB is abandoning us. Give me the one lyric on Stand Up that moved you to tears. Give me the one soaring sax or violin solo that has defined DMB over the years. They don't exist on this album. And so we all start to think to ourselves that maybe DMB has moved to a new level of their careers. Maybe this is all part of the progression that will now redefine the band. But when it all comes down to it, why would DMB go away from what got them to where they are. No one is saying to avoid the editting machines that were so apparent on this album. Please, edit and mix to your hearts content. But give your fans what they've come to love in you. Passion in your words and a strong ability to cut through the smoke and mirrors of technology to the raw talent these musicians possess.
Knowing DMB enough to understand how much they care about their fans, I hope they are listening. We miss the old DMB.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have been a "Dave" fan since 1997. I was a freshman in high school unfamiliar with their sound but willing to attend their concert. I have never been turned on to a band so quickly than on that magical night. They were incredible in concert. Unbelievable. The band was an orchestra of rock. The synchronicity of the music was unlike anything I had heard before. Even Dave's voice sounded like an instrument. I was an immediate fan...and I still am. I've tried to follow Dave every year, attending venues such as his Folsom Field Live performance (unreal..best show I have ever heard and seen), his Gorge shows, and plenty others. DMBs concerts never fail. What does seem to be slowly deteriorating however is their current sound. I own every CD DMB has put out. "Remember Two Things" to "The Lillywhite Sessions"..."Listener Supported" to "Folsom Field"..."Under The Table and Dreaming" to this current album "Stand Up". "Stand Up" is utterly disappointing. It is the only DMB album that I have listened to one time and never again. It is a shockingly bad album. Fortunately DMB may actually know this. Their tour this summer seemingly left out every song on this album. They kept to their "jam band" roots, playing only their best, and for extended periods of time. A few songs even popped up in concert that I have yet to hear on any album...and these songs were fantastically beautiful. I dont recommend this album to anyone...especially if you are a DMB fan. Those who dont know DMB well...buy "Under The Table and Dreaming" or "Crash" if you want to hear true Dave. "Stand Up" does nothing for the band and should be left to the listener as a slumpy mistake. I have faith Dave will again rise...they just need to experiment like they always do. Their talents are gifts from God and they will continue to grow...even with these natural speedbumps.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Dave Matthews Band deserves credit for their unflinching dedication to their craft and convictions. They are not afraid of change and are not afraid of the criticism that has come with it. Whether this change be viewed as evolution or mutation, these guys deserve kudos and respect. They are undoubtably some of the world's finest musicians.
While I've somewhat agreed with some of the negative statements I've read such as "I miss the old DMB" and "this album lacks the instrumental riffs and improvisation", I do not think anyone could ever call this a bad album. There are some unbelievably great songs on this album which definitely make it purchase-worthy. I guffawed when I read one persons review stating that there was not one good song one this album.
STAND UP opens up hard with one of it's best tracks, "Dreamgirl". Then it moves into a SugarRay-ish scamper-pop type song "Old Dirt Hill" which actually works surprisingly well. "Stand Up" and "Smooth Rider" are agreeably forgettable but "American Baby" is an instant DMB classic and possibly the best song on this album. Couple that with the spooky rhythms of "Out Of My Hands", the so very soulful and soothing ballads "Steady As We Go" and "Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd" and the fun and playful "Louisiana Bayou" and "You Might Die Trying" ... you've got yourself an album you'd be a fool not to add to your collection. You can write off "Hello Again" and "Hunger For the Great Light". Those two didn't do too much for me, but to each their own... I read someone else loved "Great Light".
To all those panning this album, I say two things... 1. Keep an open mind. Do not pigeonhole DMB into one kind of music 2. Be patient. Don't be so quick to condemn... It took me about 2 months to appreciate "Everyday". Ladies and gentleman, wait until Dave and the crew gets this stuff on stage. This is like prototype concert music. See you at Giants Stadium DMB!
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have PURCHASED every album since 1993, so I feel I speak with some authority when I say that this album is by far the worst yet. I felt that the record they did with Glenn Ballard was a reasonably listenable waste, but thought they made a strong recovery on the next one, "Busted Stuff" (which was the record they SHOULD have released instead of the Ballard one). "Stand up" stinks up the joint from the cover art (what is that goofy concept lady?), to the tiny tiny song labels on the back. Oh yeah, and the music is lame, with 3-4 exceptions. I won't even address the copy protection issue...that's been done to death, and I agree with them all. I encourage you to buy this cd....my copy is available.