Dave Matthews Band
Under The Table And Dreaming


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
November 20th, 2009 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tremendous debut album that indicates the potential for even greater things.

Prior to the 1990’s the world had never heard anything like Dave Matthews Band. Sure, there were jam bands such as Phish and even the Allman Brothers Band, but neither of these bands had the sound that Dave Matthews Band developed. After releasing a semi-official live record “Remember Two Things” in 1993, the band’s first full-length studio album was released a year later. “Under the Table and Dreaming” is an excellent debut by a band that kept on growing throughout the 1990’s, complete with a full sound to say the least, and pop-hooks. “Under the Table and Dreaming” is one of their poppiest records to date, which can be attested by singles What Would You Say, Satellite, and Ants Marching. To say that the record has pop-appeal does not completely define the album, for a great deal of diversity can be found here.

Much like its descendant “Crash,” “Under the Table and Dreaming” centers on the concept of freedom, which is especially displayed in slow burner Typical Situation. “Everybody’s happy, everyone is free. Keep the big door open, everyone will come around.” Singles What Would You Say and Ants Marching accentuate this as well, with towering violins, saxophones, and a bouncy care-free feel. The latter of these tracks is one of the tracks that made the band famous, and is perfect for live performance due to its potential for expansion and soloing. This is a recurring theme in most of the band’s music, for there is just something about Dave Matthews Band that makes their songs translate so well into live shows. Band jam Dancing Nancies is another example of this, for the build-up and instrumentation is tremendous, highlighted by Leroi’s Saxophone and Boyd’s Violin. This track is quite catchy, especially with Dave asking, “Could I have been anyone other than me?” Fan favorite Jimi Thing is an underscore of the record as well, for freedom is emphasized again here, “Day is gone I'm on my back, staring up at the ceiling. I take a drink sit back relax, smoke my mind makes me feel better for a short time.” Soloing potential is massive here, and on the record Leroi’s Saxophone is featured in the final minute.

Despite “Under the Table and Dreaming’s” blissful feel, there is a good deal of diversity with some darker, and more serious tracks. The record’s longest track Warehouse, is a brilliant song, transitioning from an eerie introduction and verse to more a pleasurable chorus. The diversity in the track alone is incredible, Dave goes from, “See Im leaving, this warehouse frightens me, has me tied up in knots. Can't rest for a moment, soom I’m going I’m slippin slow away,” to “Leave all the lights on, so we can see the black cat changing colors. And we can walk under the ladders, and swim as the tide turns you around and around.” Rhyme and Reason is the album’s darkest and more brutal track, for Dave utilizes his growl-like yell, screaming at times, “My head won't leave my head alone, and I don't believe it will, 'til I'm six feet underground.” Dave actually even threatens to lose it on Lover Lay Down, the beautiful ballad of the record.

Dave Matthews Band’s studio debut says almost all there is to say about the band in just over sixty minutes. From the pleasing opener Best of What’s Around, to instrumental #34, this is an excellent record. More importantly, “Under the Table and Dreaming” gives us the indication that this band is capable of even greater things, which would be achieved in their next few albums.

Recommended Tracks:
Rhyme and Reason
Dancing Nancies
Lover Lay Down
Jimi Thing
Warehouse



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user ratings (255)
Chart.
4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 20th 2009


6088 Comments


Will do Busted Stuff and fix my old Big Whiskey review and the discography will be complete.

FistfulOfSteel
November 20th 2009


894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this, and before these crowded streets are my favourites by DMB.

EVedder27
November 20th 2009


6088 Comments


For me it goes BTCS>Crash>Under the Table and Dreaming>Pretty much everything else.

Jethro42
November 20th 2009


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was 100% certain the cool little song 'Digging a Ditch' was on this album. 'Dancing Nancies','Rhyme & Reason' and 'Jimi Thing' are all aces. Both 'Ant's Marching' and 'What Would You Say' have better versions live(no surprising)on
'Live At Folsom Fields'.

Vedder, excellent review as always. You have a very good writing style. You always know how
to give a very good idea about an album's quality throughout your review's content. So I know
what to expect each time with your details. Keep on writing buddy. Pos'd

EVedder27
November 20th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks a lot Jethro.

random
January 28th 2011


2270 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Their drummer is talented.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2011


15082 Comments


jimi thing is such a bizarrely structured song

Jethro42
November 11th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

neck

Jethro42
November 11th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They don't have only great cuts I confess. They have their share of terrible songs here and there.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2011


15082 Comments


the strings on jimi thing are so awesome

CK
August 19th 2013


4952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best Dave Matthews. Easily.

scottpilgrim10
August 16th 2014


4443 Comments


sucks



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