Music review: Dave Matthews Band boasts its refined sound in new album

by Peter Duell

The Grammy Award winning group, Dave Matthews Band, released its new album, “Away From The World”, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, relieving fans’ much anticipated tension.

Media reviews range on a spectrum  from “boring and weak” to “impressive and beautiful.”

“I’ve been listening to Dave Matthews Band for a long time,” freshman Curtis Hunter said. “I bought their new album and was very impressed. It was classic Dave Matthews. All their music is beautiful. This album is no exception.”

Dave Matthews Band is known for its smooth melodies with strong vocals and jazzy riffs backed by horns and keys. “Away From The World” followed suit but did so with a more refined,  mastered style.

Approaching its second decade of existence, DMB has taken its time to craft and perfect its style and sound. The album represents this tone well. While the distinct sound of Dave’s voice and classic saxophone remain, the grittiness has been cleaned away.

Many might find this attractive and enjoyable,  while others prefer the sometimes sharp and rough sounds of the “old” Dave Matthews.

“While ‘Away From The World’ is nice, I found it almost too perfected,” sophomore Eli Casteel said. “What made Dave Matthews so fun to listen to was the imperfections — you didn’t know what they were going to do with a song when it starts. [‘Away From The World’] is too predictable, too boring. It lulled me to sleep.”

While big-name bands will always have mixed reviews and opinions, DMB has remained noticeably consistent over the years.  “Away From The World” is not excluded from that pool.  The classic sounds one can expect from DMB all remain. What sets its new album apart is the way DMB took that sound and refined it to create a nicer, polished tone.

I have always been a fan of DMB’s ability to fuse jazz-like sounds with a more or less rock style base. I am a jazz enthusiast, so hearing DMB focus slightly more on that in “Away From The World” was refreshing. It is not my favorite DMB album, but it is still classic Dave Matthews, which is always fun to listen to. There is so much talent in the group, and they manage to orchestrate their music incredibly well.

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