The Dave Matthews Band moves its music forward by increments on Before These Crowded Streets. While the album offers more of the folkish melodies and vaguely internationalist rhythms that made this Charlottesville, Virgini... more »a, group a major record and concert draw, it also finds them adding new colorings to the mix. Alanis Morissette guests on two cuts, "Spoon" and the disc's first single, "Don't Drink the Water," and banjo whiz Bela Fleck sits in, too. More interesting, though, is the modernist string arrangement played by the Kronos Quartet on the driving "Halloween." Matthews's obvious hopes to lead something other than a jam band are at least partly fulfilled here; at the same time, Streets should keep his customers satisfied.--Rickey Wright« less
The Dave Matthews Band moves its music forward by increments on Before These Crowded Streets. While the album offers more of the folkish melodies and vaguely internationalist rhythms that made this Charlottesville, Virginia, group a major record and concert draw, it also finds them adding new colorings to the mix. Alanis Morissette guests on two cuts, "Spoon" and the disc's first single, "Don't Drink the Water," and banjo whiz Bela Fleck sits in, too. More interesting, though, is the modernist string arrangement played by the Kronos Quartet on the driving "Halloween." Matthews's obvious hopes to lead something other than a jam band are at least partly fulfilled here; at the same time, Streets should keep his customers satisfied.--Rickey Wright
Jim S. from WOONSOCKET, RI Reviewed on 3/16/2010...
DMB is the best!!! Love all their tunes especially the earlier releases.
Lewis C. from FRANKLIN, TN Reviewed on 3/4/2008...
not the best dave cd but still good any way
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Emily B. from MEDFORD, NJ Reviewed on 11/19/2006...
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A somewhat biased review of Before These Crowded Streets
Andrew John Wilhoit III | 03/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Biased in the sense that if all other bands on earth (and i mean all, now that Soul Coughing broke up) except DMB (dave matthews band for those of you that aren't dave-o-philes) magically disappeared, i really would not care much. This is possibly the strongest of DMB's studio efforts. Crash was good, but had more weak links (just one: let you down) than BTCS. And UTTAD was an awesome CD (after all, its DMB) but a totally different style than this, so it's hard to compare. Now the run-down of the songs:Pantala Naga Pampa: Amazing that this 30 second intro is so awesomely good. (bad english, so sue me) Rapunzel: This is just a GREAT song, completely fun to listen to, makes you wanna dance insanely. The Last Stop: The darkest, most angry song on a CD that also has "Halloween." Now THAT is an accomplishment. However, it really is a good song, and the lyrics are VERY nicely done. Don't Drink The Water: An awesome, almost hypnotic tale of colonization (and murder of the natives) told from the settler's point of view. The way Dave singing the lines "dont drink the water, there's blood in the water" turns to desperation at the end is an AMAZING touch. Stay (Wasting Time): A love song along the lines of Rapunzel, but a little less goofy. Female backup vocals give this song the perfect touch. Halloween: A song Dave wrote to a girl he was QUITE upset with (she turned down his marriage proposals multiple times, as the story goes). A very interesting, dark song with the Kronos Quartet (see "classical music") in the background. very different, VERY good. The Stone: A counter-part to Halloween, still with the Kronos Quartet in the background. I haven't the foggiest what this song is about, but its beautifully written. Crush: Many would consider this the album's highlight. An AMAZING love song that only gets better with repeat listenings. LOVE stefan's bass. The Dreaming Tree: An absolutely beautifully written, and yet very disturbing song. Look up the lyrics to this one, trust me, they're like poetry. Pig: A happy song, lacking much of a melody. Still a pretty song, but one of the album's weaker points. Spoon: Good song, very good song, but Alanis wasn't made for this sort of thing (dont get me wrong, i love alanis morissette, but this is by no mean's her greatest work). FOR GODS SAKES WOMEN JUST LET DAVE SING, he's got the best voice of any vocalist around today! Unmentioned Outro: PERFECT WAY TO END THE CD! "Come in from the cold for a while....everything will be alright....come in from the noise for a time.....everything will be alright....for now....goodbye...friend....goodbye...""
Andrew John Wilhoit III | Villa Park, IL USA | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've decided after listening to this cd such an awful amount of time, it was worthy of a review. This album is just so amazing to me. It's personally my favorite DMB record by far, Crash and Under The Table & Dreaming in at 2 and 3. This is probably their darkest release and it's so emotional. So many great jams on this and just about every song is 6+ minutes which i love. Every single song on here is just amazing, and it's a very diverse cd.
1.Pantala Naga Pampa 8/10...A short 0:40 second fun intro, that actually manages to hold it's own as a song. But still basically serves as an intro to.. 2.Rapunzel 10/10...What a great song. Starts off fun keeping in unison with the previous and then it switches into lush melody, this is classic DMB. 3.The Last Stop 9.5/10...Wasn't a huge fan of this song at first, but it has since grown on me alot. It has an Native kind of feeling to it, and it's pretty dark, great song. 4.Don't Drink The Water 10/10...Probably my second favorite on the cd. The verses are amazing and kind of creepy, and then it gets passionate and a little darker towards the end, just fantastic. 5.Stay (Wasting Time) 8/10...Eh. Probably my least favorite song on the cd. Good, don't get me wrong, but the ladies singing gets annoying quick and this is probably the most up beat song on here, taking away from the mostly dark theme. 6.Halloween 10/10...Wow. Very rarely do you see this much emotion crammed into a song, a whole album for that matter. This is DMB's darkest song, and it's so raw and Dave pretty much loses it at the end, probably my favorite. 7.The Stone 10/10...The great songs don't stop rolling. Best violins on this song. The beginning is as cool as any DMB intro has been. Love it. 8.Crush 10/10...While Halloween was about not having someone, this one's more about having someone and loving them dearly. The jazziest song on here, and it really is probably in their top 5 best written songs. 9.The Dreaming Tree 10/10...Was initially one of my favorites before i decided the whole cd is. Reminds me of a less jazzy Crush for some reason, great song. 10.Pig 9/10...I didn't like this song that much at first, but i listened to it more and it's great. Nothing horribly special but Dave sings very melodically in the end. 11.Spoon 8.5/10...A very good song, but the silence after it bugs me. I especially like Alanis Morisette's singing part in this. Very soft and a good way to end it.
I never thought i could like Dave Matthews Band, but i actually love them. They build songs better than any better out there. This is their best album, there's not enough good things to say about this. Highly recommended."
D. Pawl | Seattle | 03/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It took me (almost) ten years to hear this great album! I can't believe I waited so long. The Dave Matthews Band has been a fixture at The Gorge at George concerts, in Washington, for several years now, and Dave, himself, was often seen down at Pike Place Market in my hometown of Seattle, Washington, playing acoustic sets for the public.....that was a few years ago. BEFORE THESE CROWDED STREETS features some of the finest and most eclectic cross-section of music genres I have heard on one album. It's hard to believe that this music was all done by one band. We hear ska, power metal, jazz, world and pop all stirred and then blended into a great musical smoothie.
Some of my favorite cuts include "Last Stop," which eerily illustrates what was to become of the relationship between the United States and the Middle East, only three years later, when 9/11 took place (chillingly prophetic), "Stay," which is an upbeat, fun, and calypso-inspired romp in the grass and makes you feel like the sun is shining even if you're listening to it in the pouring rain, "Crush," a beautiful jazzy love song, and "The Dreaming Tree," which is poetic, ponderous and devestating. There really isn't a "bad" song on here. Dave Matthews is a fantastic story teller and he wrote most of the songs himself. This album is an example of rock/crossover music at its best....."
J. Schouten | Mequon, WI USA | 05/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you haven't bought a DMB cd before, you might want to start with "Crash", as it has a few more familiar songs to get you started. However, Before These Crowded Streets, is absolutely perfection. Every song on here is excellent. There is a large diversity in the songs (from the uplifting Pig to the heavier Halloween), and everything flows together perfectly (which is aided by small "bonus tracks", which are little extra jams at the end of most of the songs). 1. Pantala Naga Pampa- 10/10. Perfect way to open the CD. A quick, uplifting 40 second track which is always used before...
2. Rapunzel- 9/10. Excellent song. Upbeat, fun song.
3. Last Stop- 9/10. A bit on the heavier side, definately a good song. Especially good live (as all DMB songs are).
4. Don't Drink the Water- 8/10. One of my least favorite songs on this CD, which isn't saying much since its still great. After being used to live versions of this song, the studio cut isn't quite as good. But, its still an emotional, heavy tune.
5. Stay- 8/10. The only other song that I sometimes skip om this cd. Again, its much better live (see the Central Park Concert.) I don't like the "Lovely Ladies" who appear in this song. But, its still a great upbeat tune.
6. Halloween- 10/10. Definately an aquired taste for this song, but once you get into it, its great. By far the heaviest, most emotion-filled song on the CD. You can feel Dave's anger and emotion, especially near the end when it's completely built up.
7. The Stone- 10/10. Great song, switches between a heavier and more upbeat mood.
8. Crush- 10/10. The most beautiful love song ever written in my opinion, and one of the most well done studio tracks ever recorded.
9. Dreaming Tree- 10/10. Haunting, emotional, and one of the best set of lyrics Dave and ever written. The lyrics are only surpassed by...
10. Pig- 10/10. The greatest lyrics ever written. This song starts out on the weaker side, but builds up throughout the song. One of my absolute favorite songs.
11. Spoon- 10/10. Beautiful song, and the reprise outro a few minutes after Spoon ends is the absolute perfect way to end the most perfect album."