CD Review of Everyday by Dave Matthews Band

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Released: 2007
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Sweeping change is evident from the very first track on Everyday, the latest release from the Dave Matthews Band. Die-hards will immediately notice that, with this 50-minute disc, DMB has moved miles away from even 1998's Before These Crowded Streets, abandoning drawn-out jam sessions, playful poetry and silky female backup singers for concise, four-minute songs dominated by self-reflective lyrics and Dave Matthews' own raspy voice.

"I Did It," track one and the album's first single, has a much darker texture than most of the band's previous work, splicing some gloomy writing together with a driving electric guitar and violinist Boyd Tinsley's resonant voice flowing through a catchy 10-second rap. In fact, throughout most of the 12-song set Matthews discards his acoustic guitar for a baritone or electric, giving songs like "The Space Between," "Dreams of Our Fathers" and "Angel" a terrific, jagged edge that was non-existent in previous releases. But for those fans who aren't ready to let go of the band's original sound, "When the World Ends," "Sleep To Dream Her" and, thanks to a strong sax solo by Leroi Moore, "So Right" more closely resemble earlier DMB work, although no song on the disc is longer than four minutes and 43 seconds.

In short, Everyday is a much simpler album than most DMB fans are used to -- simpler lyrics, simpler music and a simpler sound. Some may utter "sellout" after playing this CD once through, noting that it has kind of a pop, radio-edit feel to it, but I disagree. While Everyday may not live up to the soaring standards the Dave Matthews Band set with Under the Table and Dreaming, Crash and Before These Crowded Streets, this album still is loaded with powerful music and vivid, inspired writing. It may take a week or two, but true DMB fans will grow to love these songs as honestly as the band's past releases.

~Jamey Codding