In anticipation of the release of Dave Matthews’ solo debut,
fans may have wondered: Will it rock stagnantly like the Dave
Matthews Band, or will he totally break rockin’ new ground?
Word on the street is that Matthews originally offered the
material for Some Devil to the band, but they declined,
noting need for time off and qualms with the quality of the
So, does it sound like the Dave Matthews Band? While the record
is more guitar based than DMB stuff, thanks to Tim Reynolds and
Phish’s Trey Anastasio, there’s nothing awfully new here.
What could have been a low-key, intimate singer/songwriter debut
proves to be an experiment in overbooking. Boyd’s endless violin
solos are replaced by an entire orchestra, while the Dirty Dozen
Brass Band sub in for Leroi’s sax and flute. Dave-o, you should be
stripping away stuff instead of adding to it on a solo album.
Like the recent end of the DMB catalogue, songs go on longer
than they need to and drift into noodling snoozers. To be fair, I
wasn’t stoned while listening; perhaps some weed would make
Matthews’ meandering jams and trite stream-of-drunken-consciousness
lyrics on songs like “So Damn Lucky” and “Gravedigger” (which
inexplicable appears on the record twice) more enjoyable, but it’s
Dave Matthews’ many shortcomings are all the more glaring when
he tries to branch out, especially in the vocal department.
Matthews isn’t much of a soul singer. His attempt at falsetto on
“An’ Another Thing” sounds like a pubescent voice cracking and is
just as pleasant.
Of course, regardless of how the record sounds, Dave’s faceless
legions of fans will be so happy they’ll stain themselves.
Hopefully I’ll meet Dave someday. I’ll steal all of his drugs and
booze. For once, I’ll have more fun at his one concerts than he
Rating: 1.5 stars.