Monday, May 26, 2008

CD Review: Crash


1) So Much To Say
2) Two Step
3) Crash Into Me
4) Too Much
5) #41
6) Say Goodbye
7) Drive In Drive Out
8) Let You Down
9) Lie In Our Graves
10) Cry Freedom
11) Tripping Billies
12) Proudest Monkey
Years ago, Amazon.com wrote, "It's tempting to label the Dave Matthews Band as torchbearers of the Grateful Dead's moderate rock fusion and send them off on the next summer tour featuring either Blues Traveler or the Spin Doctors." It's a shame that this fine band has yet to enjoy the stardom that those two have to this day. Kidding aside, Crash is a classic album, a perfect blend of accessibility and quirkiness.
Any jam band with a violinist, a saxophonist, and a squeaky-voiced South African front man is bound to be at least a little weird - like all great ensembles. However, the Dave Matthews Band wasn't too weird for pop radio. Take a listen to "Two Step" - it has shades of REM and a feel that screams of the 90s.
Good thing the mainstream could also embrace some more original songs, tracks that display the band's unique style. "Crash Into Me" is their signature song, a masterpiece of mellowness that crescendos to a frantic combination of thumping drums, falsetto vocals, and blasting sax. Then we get the familiar, but still powerful riff of "Too Much", and we hear the band at its most energetic.
"Tripping Billies" kicks off in a similar fashion, but sets a more upbeat mood, largely thanks to Boyd Tinsley's country fiddle. Then things calm down for "Proudest Monkey", a quirky closer with clicking percussion and playful lyrics. There's all sorts of other surprises throughout the disc - the jazzy flute, congas, and bass that introduces "Say Goodbye", a more orchestral intro to "Drive In Drive Out", and the waltzing rhythm of "Let You Down" among them.
All in all, Crash serves as a fine introduction to a great band. Become familiar with the unusual elements before moving on to less poppy material, like Busted Stuff. This disc gives you the hits and the jamming, along with plenty of unexpected bits...so don't complain.
***** out of five

3 comments:

  1. hey david, here is that site i was talking about where i made the extra cash this summer, it's pretty cool... anyway,
    check it out ..

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey david, here is that site i was talking about where i made the extra cash this summer, it's pretty cool... anyway,
    check it out ..

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey david, here is that site i was talking about where i made the extra cash this summer, it's pretty cool... anyway,
    check it out ..

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are valued greatly. Please adhere to the decorum on the "First time here?" page. Comments that are in violation of any of the rules will be deleted without notice.

3/11 Update - No Moderation

*Non-anonymous commenting is preferred to avoid mix-ups. Anonymous comments are, at the behest of management, more likely to be deleted than non-anonymous comments.