"I have been, since meeting my wife, a fan of the Dave Matthew's Band. I have seen them live several times, and have always immensely enjoyed their shows. So I was a little befuddled when my wife informed me that Dave Matthews was releasing a solo album. I couldn't understand how his style would be any different than the music he makes with "his" band.And then I listened to "Some Devil"....and I understood.Dave Matthews, a brilliant lyricist, guitarist and songwriter, nails his first solo album with a style that is as fresh, new and unique as anything he has ever done with the DMB (Dave Matthews Band). He takes risks, attempting topics, ideas, and musical sounds that are new and unique, and sometimes a little off mainstream.I admire this album as a whole for several reasons. 1.) Dave Matthews, an icon in the alternative/rock industry, remains faithful to his craft by not writing overtly commercial music, but rather remaining true to the things that move him, and it shows in his songs. 2.) With this album, he does not attempt to re-create anything that even remotely resembles the DMB, but instead features a whole new array of musical sound, often blending a string orchestra with edgy, raw guitar and driving rhythmic drums to give us a feeling that Dave Matthews is trying to take us to a whole new place with this album.My cynical side edged its way to the surface when I first heard (and saw) the video for his first single from the "Some Devil" album; "Gravedigger". Of all the pieces on the album, I would say that this piece is the most mainstream, appealing to those in the industry who need an angle to market this album. It sounded good, but definitely not as ecletic as some of Dave's material, and so I gave pause before opening up to the song (which has since become one of my favorites). If Dave is guilty of writing a "commercial" piece to promote his album, I certainly don't mind, for "Gravedigger" (which in itself is a very moving and thought provoking piece) entices the listener, making them want to hear more-and-as good as "Gravedigger" is, its only the tip of the very rich and deep iceberg that Dave has set upon the world.Stylistically, the album is at once alternative rock, blues, folk, R&B, and an undefined sound of guitar, bass, strings, drums and voice, with lyrics that are poetic, lyrical, deeply personal and honest. Dave transcends the marketing that so many musicians succumb to and gives us an honest effort, for which he should be praised.Some of the more moving tracks on the CD include songs like: "So Damn Lucky", a song that is really the opposite of what the title suggests-really deals more with tragedy of a man who is killed in the throes of a car accident; "Save Me", a present day re-telling of Christ's ordeal in the desert and the devil's efforts to tempt him; "Some Devil", a look through Dave's eyes at dealing with the demons of losing someones love; "Stay Or Leave", similar to "Some Devil", a song about a lover lamenting over the fear of losing his partner and the choice she will make; "Oh", a beautiful song about the power of love despite unbeatable odds; "Gravedigger" (full band and acoustic versions (tracks 3 and 14, respectively), a haunting reflection on the brevity of life and the impact of death on those who experience it.All fourteen tracks of this album, as with all of Dave's music, remains true to his artisty and is a completely fulfilling experience. For those lucky enough to purchase the limited edition CD, a second disk is included that features five tracks with Tim Reynolds, a virtuoso guitarist and friend to Dave Matthews. Listen, enjoy, and experience music as it is meant to be-not a commercial product, but an honest journey into a man's soul, full of a personal beauty not often found in today's major artists."
It's NOT dmb - it's DAVE.
Scott Kolecki | 10/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone expecting this album to sound like Dave Matthews Band, don't bother buying it. It's not dmb. I don't think it was intended to sound anything like dmb. That's the beauty of it. It's a very smooth, mellow, non-jammed-out collection of tunes with some good lyricism and nice melodies. Unlike many dmb songs, Dave's voice isn't so much the focal point of the songs. Instead, his voice is more of an instrument, blended in with the other instruments. His vocals are more reminiscent of how his shows with Tim Reynolds sound. These songs aren't nearly as "catchy" as the usual dmb favorites, but many are quite moving, both musically and lyrically. I have a feeling that this is the album Dave wanted to make, for his own creative expression, and not necessarily to appease the critics or dmb fans. If you're a fan of Dave, you'll love the album. If you're a fan of Dave with the band, this album sounds nothing like his work with dmb. Personally, I love many of the songs on this album, like most of them, and don't really dislike any of them. (This coming from a huge fan of dmb). I'd call it "brilliant" if I didn't already expect that of Dave. :)"
Dave Matthews is a Lyrical Genius
chiggin13 | Eugene, OR | 10/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although most Dave Matthews Band fans love the gut renching, note belting songs like Dont Drink the Water and All Along the Watchtower that the band is notorious for, there is another side to the band that compliments very well. The meolodic ballads such as Crash Into Me and Space Between are some of the band's best songs. This new solo album of Dave's is definitely ballad driven, and this is why some people dont like it. They want to hear some loud, energy filled tunes that are just not possible without the band. This is why Dave did a solo album, to put some songs out that didn't exactly fit with the band's direction, and quite honestly are some of the best lyrics I have heard in a while. Although all the songs on this album are ballad like, I feel its an excellent compolation of his best creative genius. And if you need the loud, energetic songs, just pop in one of his live cds. Personal favs on this CD: Dodo, So Damn Lucky, Stay or Leave, and Oh. Definitely buy this album if you like such songs: Crash, Space Between, Typical Situation ..."
This is the real DAVE....
chiggin13 | 10/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I admire Dave Matthews. Not because he has been able to front one of the most succussful, yet underrated bands of the modern era. And not because he has created so many songs with DMB that have become so mainstream. I admire Dave because he is willing to take risks as an artist. Whether its scrapping a tired, yet triumphant formula and going electric in DMB's album, "Everyday" or going solo on his latest disc, "Some Devil." It is solo when we finally see Dave for who HE is. At first listen, this album is a lightweight compared to the rhythms and rhymes of DMB. However, he soon begins to showcase a new, more inspired sound. One that takes notes from Jack Johnson, or even Coldplay. And all throughout, Dave pens his lyrics with references to many songs from DMB. This album almost represents everything he wanted to say in a band, yet couldn't because it was just that. Immediacy was not his goal here; in fact,it is obvious to me that he worked hard to create a piece of artwork, not just ear candy. A beautiful and much needed move for music fans and the industry."
Don't listen to them...the CD is great
Ryan Fredric Steinbeck | Porter, in | 09/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe people are reviewing this record a day after it was released and calling it "terrible" and "Disappointing". I think to them they feel this way because they were expecting Dave to sound like DMB. Why would you expect this????? This is a solo album. It's supposed to sound different. If you can actually open your mind and realize Dave is doing this record because it doesn't fit with the band then you will enjoy it. I personally think this is one of the best disc's I bought this year. And there are really good lyrics and music throughout this album. If you are expecting to be blown away by usual DMB style and musical technique, don't get this. Get this because you understand Dave and know that there is more to life outside of DMB. Obviously most of those who have reviewed this album do not truly understand Dave and his music. This will probably go on to be grammy nominated and be great milestone for Dave. I'm glad for him and I like this album a lot!!"