Review Summary: A real Dave Matthews Band record.
Dave Matthews Band is not anymore a flavor of the week act. They have been around for over 20 years now. Their career is full of glory with classic albums such as Under The Table and Dreaming, Crash and Before These Crowded Streets. But there’s some dark clouds over their head with records like Everyday and Stand up which were lacking of good material. In 2009 they did a great comeback with a new sound. The fans were pleased but it wasn’t perfect yet. The electric guitar was overpowering and Boyd Tinsley (violin) was a ghost.
This year the band returned at work with Steve Lillywhite. Who produced the band’s first 3 records and their famous lilywhite session. They did get back to their old sound but they also add some new influences. This is a Dave Matthews band record.
Broken Things sounds like it comes from the lilywhite session. A classic sounding Dave Matthews band opener. Dave proves us that he can still do some nice falsetto vocals on the chorus of this song. Boyd Tinsley also makes some great violin solo like he used to do on Crash. A solid opener 9/10
Belly Belly Nice is the classic DMB groovy type of song. Sound like a better Shake me Like a monkey. The Chorus of this song is a monster and the saxophone solo is groovy sounding. I haven’t heard such a good uptempo song from DMB since Stay from Before these crowded street. 9/10
Mercy is the first released single of this album. It’s a solid politically charged song. In fact both mercy and Gaucho are more serious lyrically. The melody of Mercy is pretty catchy and simple. This song is the proof that simple things can sound really good. 8/10
Gaucho guitar work is very reminiscent of warehouse from their first album. The song is pretty solid but it’s actually one of the weakest track of the record. The «please wake up part» is well placed with that distorded bass line. A kids choir is also singing the chorus lines in the end over a nice saxophone solo. 7/10
Sweet is a nice short song. The title of the song explains by itself the vibe of the song. Dave singing over ukulele strums. The Song is a bit repetitive with only a few chords strummed and repeated for most of the song but the ending with the horns and the tempo change is pretty interesting musically. 8,5/10
The Riff seems to be a fan favorite so far. It starts with a nice and quiet guitar work and vocals by Dave. The chorus is a solid and peaceful while carter’s drumming is shining in this one. Tim Reynolds pulls out a solid rockin’ guitar solo at the end. This is a must check song. 9/10
Belly Full is a short and sweet segue. The vocal line is catchy and it is sad that the song is short because it could have been a really good song if it was a full length one. 8/10
If Only is my personal favorite. It is a more adult contemporary song. The good thing about this song is the vibe and the vocal performance of Dave. You can feel a lot of feelings in this song. The guitar work is jazzy sounding and it really fits the song. 10/10
Rooftop is the rocking song of this record. The main guitar riff sounds like Dreams of our Fathers from Everyday. The Chorus is huge and heavy in a way. The Tempo change is somewhat unexpected. The bridge and solo parts are some of the best moments of this album. 8/10
Snow outside is the first long track of Away from the World. It starts with a nice acoustic guitar riff repeated over and over. The vocal melody is again one of the strongest things in this song. The horns a little something that makes it sounds really good. The song also has a southern feel. There is some nice jamming parts in this song. I can see them do some long jams over this song. 10/10
Drunken soldier is the big song of this record. It is an instant classic. This song is everything Dave Matthews Band has been in their career. It’s really hard to describe the style of this song. It is rock, folk and progressive. In fact the end part sounds a lot like Breathe by Pink Floyd. The vibe of this song is intense and Dave sings with feelings again. The horns are powerful in this song and this adds a lot of drama to the vibe. This song is also really good lyrically. A song that you must check out as soon as possible. This may be the best song released this year. 10/10
Away From the World is one of the greatest records I’ve heard so far this year. I strongly recommend you to give it a few spin.