A funny thing happened on the way to the record store...,
This review is from: Busted Stuff (Audio CD)
Something unusual has come over me for the past few weeks. When at the record store, Dave Matthews Band's latest album had sat on the shelf for over a month. Did I buy it? Did I pick it up and look at the back? Did I give it the slightest bit of acknowledgement? No. What came over me? I was college-age, "Before These Crowded Streets" is one of my favorite albums. Why this trepidation?
Well, is it any wonder? After "Everyday", which was quite the disappointment? One of the joys of DMB for me is their sheer musicality, the way that their albums sounded like no one else's. Suddenly, here comes an album with a layer of Top 40 Glen Ballard gloss slopped on like maple syrup on a pancake.
But finally, I succombed to the pressure and bought "Busted Stuff". Within the first couple of minutes, a sigh of relief the size of Ohio escaped my lips. Matthews and Co. are back.
I really have to admire the way the band respects their fans. Not only did they go back and re-record the songs from "The Lillywhite Sessions" (an album that they did not hold in high regard from what I understand), but they made an Enhanced CD AND included an extra DVD. Being the subject of last year's biggest internet piracy controversy must have showed them that they truly have a following.
Anyway, about the album. It is a return to DMB's methods, but a departure from their motives. While the upbeat tempos, lengthy riffs, and big acoustic symphonies are still there, the material is darker, more singed with desperation and confusion. It is reassuringly mature after the adolescense of "Everyday".
The high point of the album comes near the middle, with Matthews' ode to the Irish ballad, "Grace Is Gone", with its incredibly addictive chorus. The moment is followed up by "Kit Kat Jam", an instrumental masterpiece that is so hot, even the band itself can't help from cheering at the end of it. Then, to compliment, "Digging a Ditch", a beautiful work, is next. That trilogy of songs is a small example of the carefully calculated work that is "Busted Stuff".
If DMB lost any fans from their last album, they should be regained from this, with will stand among their best work. I am sure this will emerge one of the better albums to come out this year.