September 1, 2005

Test Spin: Dave Matthews Band

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The Dave Matthews Band’s latest studio effort, Stand Up, is an energetic and experimental addition to the group’s large back catalogue. Stand Up showcases driving percussion, vocal sampling and expectedly nimble guitar work on tracks like “American Baby” while songs like “Hello Again” exemplify a more traditional DMB sound. Lyrically, this album is a reflection on lessons learned, time and hope. The tracks cover a range of emotions and styles from the political “Everybody Wake Up” to the romantic and beautiful “Steady As We Go.” “Steady As We Go” features Dave on the piano, singing softly and intimately, with backup vocals entering as the song progresses. Like the sentiments of a man who’s lived and learned, Stand Up seems to be a lyrical journey through sequential stages of obsession, activism, disillusionment and finally, comprehension. Highlight tracks are “Dream Girl,” “American Baby” and “Hunger For the Great Light.” Although some may doubt where the Dave Matthews Band intends to head with their notably different Stand Up, the answer rings clear as Dave sings, “- take me back to that beat again.”

Archived article by Matt Kulick
Sun Contributor