Dave Matthew Band - Busted Stuff
Released: July 16, 2002
Label: Bama Rags / RCA
Dave Matthews - Guitars, Vocals
Stefan Lessard - Bass Guitar
LeRoi Moore - Saxophone, Woodwinds
Boyd Tinsley - Violin
Carter Beauford - Drums
The Dave Matthews Band has been recognized as one of the major forces in 90's music, and continues to make its presense seen and felt well into the 21st Century (the even have a new album in the works). After retaining a familiar sound for the greater part fo the 90's, DMB released Everyday
, an album that sent their sound in a direction nobody had ever heard from them. A lot of this had to do with it being produced by Glen Ballard. However, around the same time, they had done extensive sessions with Steve Lillywhite, who had produced their three major studio albums, and these sessions were much darker and more like the sound fans had come to expect. These sessions were eventually leaked over the internet. DMB then went back to the studio and refined these sessions into the album Busted Stuff
This track makes a fine opener for the album. The music and the lyrics are playful and kinda fun, but "Busted Stuff" hints at more somber tones near the end. Another reason it's a good opener is because it sounds different from any other DMB song - but much closer to something off of pre-Everyday
efforts, which was entirely the point.
When "Busted Stuff" strays from it's happy, upbeat nature near the end, it seems to perfectly set up the next track, "Grey Street". This is one of the undeniable high points on the album. This song is rather intense, especially Dave's rapid chord changing and belted vocals during the end jam.
Where Are You Going
Originally Posted by Where Are You Going
Where are you going, with your long face pulling down"
Don't hide away, like an ocean, that you can't see but you can smell
And the sound, as waves crash down
I am no superman, I have no answers for you
I am no hero, oh, that's for sure
But I do know one thing - where you are, is where I belong
This is a nice, pretty song with some of Dave's loveliest lines, accented by piano work, which is rare for DMB, and tender vocals and saxophone lines.
You Never Know
This song is rather meandering, but differently from most of DMB's work - it meanders musically and
lyrically at the same time. I like this song, but I like most of the rest of the album more.
This is a concise jam that with catchy riffs and fills. Carter's drums really help carry this one through, and it's pretty fun to listen to. Not Dave's best lyrics; however, the emphasis is mostly on the music, so Dave is excused in this case.
This track is like the older brother to "You Never Know" - you know, the one that's always smarter, better, and cooler at eveything" This one feels kind of like two tracks prior, only more refined. The lyrics are imaginative and intersting, as is the instrumentation, with nifty sax and violin lines and tight jams.
Grace is Gone
This song is a pleasure to listen to. Dave is essentially drunk and relating the loss of his love to whatever bartender is serving him at 2 am, as he longs for "one more drink, then I'll be gone". Nice guitar and violin work really make the piece, and infuse it with a sort of Southern mentality that is actually quite fun.
Kit Kat Jam
This jam is like a throwback to older DMB... only more refined. not only is it shorter in length than most DMB jams, but there are no lyrics, and Steve Lillywhite's production reigns it in. This track is less meandering, despite jumping from theme to theme, with a much more definite sense of direction than the longer jams.
Digging a Ditch
This is a really quiet song that seems to be about mortality and thinking about life in it's later period. It's kind of a standout track in it's own right, and never really gets depressing in spite of its content.
Big Eyed Fish
If the last track confronts mortality and doesn't feel down, well, this one makes up for it some. This one is full of odd parables in which each resolves to the subject ending up in the worst possible situation after not following the most basic of common sense. It's a dark song, but is a rather good one, especially as it sets up and flows directly into "Bartender".
Directly follows "Big Eyed Fish" via flowing violin interlude. This is the climax of the album - not only is it a strong finisher with a sense of finality, but it certainly is the highest point of the album. Despite the somewhat fatalistic nature of the lyrics, this song is simple and uplifting with a lot of depth, especially in the duality and spiritual nature of the choruses:
Originally Posted by Bartender
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus that set him free
After three days in the ground
Bartender, you see
The wine that's drinking me
Came from the vine that strung Judas from the Devil's tree
It's roots deep, deep in the ground
The closing jam is absolutely spectuacular, with nifty bass work and floating violin parts supporting high-pitched and sometimes belted vocal lines. The drums really carry most of the jam, eventually going off on a wild tangent. The song winds down with a minute or so of LeRoi on pennywhistle, before everything around him slowly fades. An absolutely awesome closer.
This is a warm welsome home to fans of the "older" DMB who were put off by the much more commerically viable Everyday
. This one explores more of the soul, and strays from Dave's typical drunken lovesick style lyrics (save for "Grace is Gone", of course). Tight production and quality songs create an album that, like early DMB albums, was not written for the purpose fo being heard all over the radio (though tracks 2, 3, and 7 got that treatment). As with any album that's any good, you should listen to it a couple times through before making up your mind about it. There's a fair amount of subtlety.
Overall Score: 4/5