Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band

Before These Crowded Streets

RCA

Of late, life has been awfully good to the Dave Matthews Band: After their humble beginning of hard-gigging days, they have had three successful albums selling more than ten million copies in all, and quite a successful tour with none other than the mighty Stones themselves last year. However, DMB has always been under-rated, and not widely received for their music. But continued musical excellence and gusto, as shown by the band in Before These Crowded Streets, is likely to gain more audience, and win more musical credibility for the band in the future.

The first two studio albums were generally happy, catchy as hell, and popular. This album, the band’s third studio recording, follows suit, and is quite in the styles of its predecessors — no major change there — but what’s different is its new studio sound. Here Dave Matthews has gone deeper into jazz pop, and has presented an impressive composition characterized by eclecticisms, aggression and darker intonations. Guest artist Bela Fleck adds more exotic color to a few tracks with his banjo. (“Don’t Drink the Water” really stands out for Fleck’s playing.) Streets also features a list of guest appearances, including Alanis Morissette and Kronos Quartet. Producer and collaborator Steve Lilywhite has done a nice job in production, giving this album the proverbial Midas touch.

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