Music Reviews

Dave Matthews Band

Busted Stuff


If you ask me, Dave Matthews and melancholy sounds like a to-die-for musical recipe. For some reason, though, the original session on which Busted Stuff is based was deemed too dark, and these tightened cuts are the result. For those hankering for some deeply despairing Dave, the Internet holds those original recordings in all their Napster-era glory; but there’s plenty to be satisfied with on this reworked release. There’s a smooth, in-control jazziness evident here that rivals Van Morrison’s more recent output in terms of self-assurance and musical mastery, and tracks like “Captain” are reminiscent of a mellow, blues-club Paul Simon. Matthews’ voice is in amazing shape, too – check the authoritative “Grey Street” or ‘Big Eyed Fish”’s epic phrases – and each and every band member turns in impressive performances with more than the odd flash of eye-catching beauty.

For those unfamiliar with the group (and I know that, at least in the States, that’s very few – although here in the Antipodes, DMB are an acquired taste), a little perseverance is required to reveal the intricacies of the eleven tracks (and find the individuality in a couple of them). But it’s an effort well worth it: Dave Matthews Band are at the peak of their powers, and Busted Stuff is a taut, coherent taste of their capabilities.

Dave Matthews Band:

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