71: Crash (Dave Matthews Band)

Album: Crash
Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Year: 1996

1. So Much To Say
2. Two Step
3. Crash Into Me
4. Too Much
5. #41
6. Say Goodbye
7. Drive In, Drive Out
8. Let You Down
9. Lie in Our Graves
10. Cry Freedom
11. Tripping Billies
12. Proudest Monkey

Is it just me or is naming a band after the lead singer pretentious? It sounds like a one-man band and is a bit dismissive of all the talent around you. Especially since if it weren’t for his band, Dave Matthews would be nothing. Dave’s singing is passable at best, his only real talent is being able to hit those high notes. But his band is awesome. The best songs tend to have extended jams with the violin, saxophone, flute, and horns.

Crash (like most of their albums) was not laden with hits, mostly because there are few pop hooks and riffs to be heard. However, Crash Into Me is still their second biggest song to date and received a ton of radio play despite being blatantly about voyeurism. The rest of the album, with the exception of So Much To Say, is all about the jamming, even on the ballads. Drive In, Drive Out, despite some pretty banal lyrics and Dave’s attempt at guttural singing, has some seriously kick-ass rhythms and endangers me while driving as I keep wanting to pound on the steering wheel with the beat.

The album gets weaker as it moves along, especially lyrically, but the songs are generally saved by the band. But nothing can save Proudest Monkey. Dave’s singing is truly horrendous, and the last several minutes of this nine minute track consist of him singing “yeah yeah yeah” while the band plays some repetitive, uninspired music. So, like the entirety of Everyday.

8 thoughts on “71: Crash (Dave Matthews Band)”

  1. After the first album I listed to of their’s (which is surely much higher on your list), I’ve been disappointed by all the rest.

    Whole-heartedly agree on being nothing without his band. After they got big, I recall Dave taking an ill-advised college tour solo. Those versions they played of it on the radio were empty and painful to listen to. I don’t even like any of the live versions of songs they’ve played on radio, and those should be hand picked from better performances. Probably my favorite song of theirs to listen & jam along with was just butchered because the live rhythms were not as tight and it ruined it. Some bands are better live, like Gaelic Storm. The produced music just loses the energy you get live. Not DMB.

    One final note while on my rant. I remember during the Winter Oympics in Salt Lake City, DMB was one of the music bookings, along with Bare Naked Ladies. They went to a live feed of DMB first, then switched to BNL. The commentators were practically shocked and commented on how many more concert goers their were for BNL than DMB. I laughed at the fools.

  2. Ah, here’s an interesting case. At one point I probably figured that this was my favorite disc. It is, of course, all about the band, and there isn’t much I could add to or change about your analysis of both the band and disc, though I’d give the hot color to the pairing of #41/Say Goodbye (I adore Say Goodbye, but would never listen to it without leading with #41) as well as to Two Step.

    And man oh MAN does this disc get bad by the end. Why not wait a few months and write a few more inspired songs? I suppose I can’t argue with the sales, though.

    I have no idea where this would appear on such a list of mine now. It would be high, but nowhere near the highs I believed it to be as a college freshman/sophomore.

    1. Interesting that on my end, it took me a few years to really appreciate the good songs on this album. I hated it on my first listen.

      You’re right in that #41 is a great lead to Say Goodbye. Though while I can listen to Say Goodbye by itself, it’s hard to listen to #41 without hearing the latter. Two Step is probably my next favorite on the album.

  3. I’ve never really goven DMB a fair shake. I probably should. A lot of their newer stuff hasn’t impressed me, but “Crash Into Me” is solid. Where should I start?

    1. I’ll be talking about them more later in the countdown, but I’ll say that DMB is better enjoyed by listening to the album than individual songs. If you want some place to start, try the beginning as adobery advises above.

      And yeah, everything of theirs post 2000 is not worth your time.

  4. When it comes to DMB, I have so not much to say.

    Not my favorite band, but not one that I actively dislike, jam bands rarely grab my attention.

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