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CD Reviews: Review of Stand Up by Dave Matthews
Paulsen Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Dave Matthews Band: Stand Up (RCA 2005)

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Never having a problem dazzling live audiences, the Dave Matthews Band has struggled lately to consistently satisfy their fans with their studio releases. After taking some time away to record 2003’s Some Devil, Matthews reunited with the group for their latest release, Stand Up. There are some good songs on the album, but it’s still a better value to see the band perform live.

It’s obvious that the group didn’t try to write a pop album, as it takes a few listens for most of the songs to really sink in. The first two tracks, “Dream Girl” and “Old Dirt Hill,” fall into this category. Next, the album’s title track tries to be classic DMB, but just misses the mark. However, it does feature a complex arrangement that the band is famous for. Overall, the first half of the album is pretty good, but not particularly catchy. “American Baby” and “Smooth Rider” are pretty subtle, especially considering the band’s usual work.

Arguably the best song on the album is “Everybody Wake Up (Our Finest Hour Arrives),” which has obvious political overtones – “everybody wake up / if you’re living with your eyes closed / see the man with the bomb in his hand.” The next track, the haunting “Out Of My Hands,” continues “see the pig dressed in his finest fine / and all the believers stand behind him and smile / and the day lights up with fire.” It’s apparent in these two tracks that Matthews is not particularly happy with the outcome of last November’s election.

The only real standout song among the final six is the moody ballad “Steady As We Go,” which features a nice cascading piano melody. In the end, fans will find a few good tunes to hold them over until the next concert, but Stand Up just isn’t essential Dave Matthews Band.

Key tracks: “Everybody Wake Up (Our Finest Hour Arrives),” “Out Of My Hands,” “Stand Up (For It),” “Steady As We Go”

~John Paulsen 


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