Chasing Dreams Away from the World
- Monday, October 01, 2012
Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Title: Away from the World
"The world is too much with us," wrote William Wordsworth in his early 1800s poem of the same name. More than two hundred years later, Dave Matthews Band concurs on its eighth studio album, Away from the World, artfully pondering the extreme highs and lows of humanity with its usual mix of depth, humor, and musical variety.
Thickening an already stirring sound, core members Dave Matthews (vocals, guitar), Boyd Tinsley (violin), Stefan Lessard (bass), and Carter Beauford (drums) are joined throughout by longtime associate Tim Reynolds (guitar), Flecktones friend Jeff Coffin (saxophone, flute), and Rashawn Ross (trumpet, keys). Together, their dynamic blend compares to the instrument-rich recordings of Sting and Peter Gabriel in their solo prime.
"Mercy" moves Dave Matthews Band further into adult contemporary territory, asking deep questions from a sad scene: I know you see all the world and the mess we're making / Can't give up and hope God will intercede / One by one could we just turn it around?
"Gaucho," a lively South American-flavored performance with a brief but effective flash of grunge, continues the thought: We gotta do much more than believe if we really wanna change the world / We cross the oceans wide, built cities to the sky / Oh Lord, looked up and we were flying / But will we not survive ourselves?
Epic nine-minute classical/jazz/rock jam "Drunken Soldier" stages a powerful platform from which this message is preached: Through your window is one way to see the world / Step outside and look back into / Look and listen; you decide what to believe / Shine your light while you got one.
The expanse of love is also traversed on Away from the World, first in the soaring "Broken Things" with its standout violin, then on the pitch perfect "Belly Belly Nice," best representing the funky, playful side of Dave Matthews Band (You can't get too much love / Don't you feel it in your belly? / Go and get you some).
"If Only" finds Dave lovelorn but up against perhaps the most upbeat, pop-driven track his band has tried. "Rooftop" plays out like an electrified take on past hit "Satellite" with a bluesy twist.
Sitting away from the world out there / please don't ever leave me alone in here, Matthews croons on the intimate, slow-burning centerpiece "The Riff." With music this good, abandonment should not be a concern.
*This Review First Published 10/1/2012
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