I really shouldn’t have to make a list to convince you to buy the new Dave Matthews Band album, “Away from the World” because it came out a full eight days ago, so you probably already own it by now. If, by some chance, you are still contemplating whether to pull the trigger, I have a few reasons why you should go ahead with it.
1. Dave & Co. can put out a sweet love song without sounding too sappy. Seriously I hope Dave’s wife feels like the luckiest lady in the world because he is quite the wordsmith and sings with great feeling. I present to you “Broken Things,” “Belly Full,” and “Snow Outside” as songs so sweet they might make you cry, while others, such as “Rooftop,” are a little edgier. Since I have a secret passion for The Carpenters, “Away from the World” brings me straight from the early seventies into the new millennium.
2. Dave is a regular guy. Well, except for the fact that he’s a gazzillionaire. If you didn’t know better, you’d never pick him out as being the music legend that he’s become. He’s a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy, married with kids. No pink hair or glitter for him. I love that.
3. The music appeals to all ages. As I contemplate having a midlife crisis, I’m not really feeling it for Korean pop stars and southern gals singing about never ever EVER getting back together, so I love “Away from the World.” I have been a DMB fan for about 20 years, and it was with great joy that I realized my oldest daughter (now 19) is also a fan. The songs on this album are mostly free of profanity, which is also refreshing. I didn’t realize there were any swears at all on the album until I read the lyrics- there is one swear in one song out of the 11 on the album. Take that, Flo Rida!
4. Dave is a bit of an activist. A couple of the songs are socially “aware” but not to the point of feeling overly preachy. In “Gaucho” Dave reminds us that “we gotta do more than believe if we wanna see the world change,” (poor enunciation is for artistic purposes only) and in “Mercy” he says that “crying won’t save or feed a hungry child.” Peace and love, anyone?
5. No Auto-Tune in sight. If you’ve had it up to HERE with special effects and distorted voices, “Away from the World” will feel like a breath of fresh air. The first half of “Sweet” is incredibly simple with just Dave’s voice and something that sounds like a ukulele (I’m very likely wrong on that). The effect is beautiful.
6. Dave is an avid Cubs fan. Well, he did play at Wrigley Field a couple years ago. That counts, right?
Here is the video for “Mercy,” the first single from “Away from the World.” It’s kinda cool, maybe a little weird. Love the song, love the album. Enjoy!
Filed under: Album Reviews