Tag Archives: Dave Matthews Band

4: Before These Crowded Streets (Dave Matthews Band)

Album: Before These Crowded Streets
Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Year: 1998

1. Pantala Naga Pampa
2. Rapunzel
3. The Last Stop
4. Don’t Drink the Water
5. Stay (Wasting Time)
6. Halloween
7. The Stone
8. Crush
9. The Dreaming Tree
10. Pig
11. Spoon

The final album by Dave Matthews before he decided to try and become pop-friendly, Before These Crowded Streets succeeds brilliantly at being anything but. With the exception of Pantala Naga Pampa, which is a short-intro, every song is at least five minutes long, with five being over seven minutes. Guest musicians abound, including a recently popular one named Alanis Morissette. Many instruments are used to fill out the sound, including trumpets, orchestral strings, an organ, and several types of guitars. And the album is meant to be listened to as an album, as nearly every song has an outro that leads into the next song. Obviously, they were still able to cut a few singles up for the radio, but something got lost on each one in the transition.

Rapunzel is an up-tempo mildly erotic song and provides great energy. The Last Stop is a graphic, angry, anti-war protest song that features Dave Matthews performing an interesting deep growl. Don’t Drink the Water continues the anger, detailing horrific battles to destroy and occupy land taken from Native Americans by Europeans.

Thinks calm down a bit with Stay, but then Halloween is another angry, raw, profane song about Dave’s torment with an ex who turned down his marriage proposals.  The Stone and Crush bring back some simplicity about relationships.. Crush is one of the band’s most popular songs, thanks to a fantastic bass and saxophone opening.  The Dreaming Tree follows on its heels with another easy melody.

The album ends on a really strong note with Pig and Spoon. Alanis provides a pretty solid solo for the latter and is more proof this album wasn’t about Dave Matthews but great music. It’s too bad it couldn’t stay that way.

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.