Dave Matthews Band
Stand Up



by rotterdog USER (1 Reviews)
May 21st, 2008 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the most poorly constructed set of songs in Dave Matthews Band's career. From beginning to end, the album lacks the inspiration and creativity that has earned Dave Matthews Band their rabid fan base.

If Dave Matthews Band is known for anything, it is for their musicianship and creativity. This is why DMB fans often prefer their live albums to their studio cuts. It's not that their studio albums are bad - Before These Crowded Streets was an incredibly affecting and deep set of songs, but something magical comes out of DMB during their live performances. The spontaneity and energy of their live performance nearly always eclipses the studio versions of their songs.

While most DMB albums capture, at least in part, this magical energy, Stand Up just sort of sits there. For those DMB fans who feel they went downhill after Before These Crowded Streets, this is an album to avoid. Stand Up is even more glossy and smooth sounding than Everyday with none of the power and fluid construction of songs like "When the World Ends" and that album's title track. The album does have its memorable tunes such as "Dreamgirl", "American Baby", "Louisiana Bayou", and "Steady as we Go", but they are missing the playfulness, invention, and lyrical sophistication that marked DMB's pre-Everyday albums.

DMB fans are some of the most dogmatic fans in modern music as evidenced by the reaction to Everyday. The very hint of the electric guitar on "I Did It" sent many fans howling. I agree that Everyday abandoned much of that acoustic beat-driven sound that attracted so many fans, but if you didn't compare it to past efforts, it was still a decently good album. As you're listening through this album for the first time, you can tell that DMB were trying for something different. This time, however, it just comes off as a bad album - with or without comparisons to past works.

Several tracks on this album have potential, but end up going nowhere. "You Might Die Trying" is one example. It starts with an ear-catching guitar line and vocal melody, but slowly devolves into an uninspiring, flat song with cookie cutter lyrics: "If you give, you begin to live..." The instrumental solos in this song and throughout the album feel forced and disconnected from the core of the tracks - almost like they were added on to please their fans.

One highlight of the album is the piano-driven buildup to the single "American Baby". This brief moment of inspiration, however, serves only to make the tracks surrounding it sound even more mediocre. That being said, "American Baby" is a well-constructed pop song. The crunch of electric guitars in the chorus and the tight, rising melody pull the song forward to a powerful bridge. Unfortunately, even Carter Beauford's fantastic drumming can't save the pointless series of horn and violin solos at the end. This squandered potential leaves a bitter taste in the mouth as does the rest of the album.

Overall, this is an album written by remarkably talented, but thoroughly uninspired individuals. If DMB can recapture some of the songwriting magic that came through in tracks like "#41", "Gray Street", "Crash Into Me", and "Don't Drink the Water", while honing some of the electronic-focused sonic textures they've been developing since Everyday, perhaps their next album will rise above the crushed expectations of many of their fans. Then again, maybe they'll just put out another tired, half-baked, over-produced collection of tracks and call it an album. I wouldn't hold your breath.

user ratings (175)
other reviews of this album
EVedder27 (2)
“Stand Up” is in many ways the album that Dave Matthews Band fans wish they never made....

kdig (3.5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 21st 2008


Album Rating: 2.5

first review. Any suggestions?

dub sean
May 21st 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

I pretty much agree, though you should focus on describing the music more. You spent most of the review comparing and contrasting Stand Up to Everyday and Before These Crowded Streets. While I agree with what you say, people who have only heard Stand Up will be pretty much clueless. Other than that, pretty nice job!

November 25th 2008


Album Rating: 2.5

After listening to this again, I realized how much I liked "Out of my Hands." Still probably the worst DMB studio album.

January 9th 2009


Why would you review something you dislike you should let someone who likes it review it IMO. The first 2 songs on this album Dreamgirl and Old Dirt Hill are among his best songs. I would have given it a 3.5 or a 4 but each to his own.

January 13th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

Someone already wrote a positive review of the album jackass. I have a different opinion. Don't neg unless you think the review was written poorly.

June 4th 2009


Good to see an honest opinion. I hated this album too.

September 19th 2009


completely agree. This album is a disgrace to a great band. nice review.

March 14th 2010



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