Birkenstocks Will Be Thrown In Anger

Jesse Christen

Jesse Christen

I’m convinced the Dave Matthews Band has nine lives.

No matter how many pitfalls they may have musically, fans are not willing to shelf them; apparently they are intrigued by the band’s power, appeal and the jive they generate in the studio and on stage.

Die-hard enthusiasts have remained loyal throughout Dave Matthews Band’s darkest days spent in the pop era of Everyday and the tragic reconstruction of the Lillywhite Sessions. Now fans are faced with the disappointment of Dave Matthews’ and Boyd Tinsley’s recent solo records.

Boyd’s recording creatively named, True Reflections, was as successful as Jennifer Love Hewitt’s singing career. It is a prime example of a cross-over gone bad.

For those of you plotting my demise, let me add, I am just like you. I have made it to enough Dave Matthews Band concerts and collected enough memorabilia that I thought I’d need debt consolidation or mental help. I purchased both albums and hoped to be rewarded. I was not. I’m left with one question: “Why spoil something so good?”

Since the 1990s, it has been second nature to refer to Dave Matthews Band simply as “Dave.” We all know this technicality, by no means meant “Dave should go solo.” This is evident in Some Devil. The Dave Matthews Band members are multi-talented musicians, yet LeRoi, Boyd, Stefan, and Carter don’t play a single lick on Some Devil.

Dave did play one card well to ensure this album does not bomb-he is joined by Tim Reynolds and Trey Anastasio of Phish.

“Gravedigger” is the first single off Some Devil. This track illustrates cemeteries and those who occupy them. Lyrics from this tune bring a whole new meaning to being six-feet-under. “Gravedigger when you dig my grave/Could you make it shallow/So that I can feel the rain.” Amazing tune, although I could do without the “ring around the rosey” ballad.

Other heartfelt tunes include “Some Devil, “Too High,” and “Grey Blue Eyes.”

Happy hippy song, “Up & Away” is the album’s best. This track is reminiscent of Bob Marley’s latter days. “Stay or Leave” and “Dodo” are other standouts.

Dave and Tim Reynolds include a bonus album with live versions of “Grey Street”, “When the World Ends,” “Jimi Thing,” “Stay or Leave” and “Seek Up.” Did the huge who’s who list of talented musicians save Dave’s album? Absolutely not, Some Devil is by no means terrible but it lacks the lyrical and musical excellence I am use to. Quite possibly the best move Dave Matthews could have ever made was to ask the core band members to join him.

3 1/2 of 5