Dave Matthews Band – Away from the World
One of the most successful and giving bands in America are back. It’s been over 20 years since Dave Matthews Band formed, and seven albums and awards later they return with an eighth studio work. Originally released in America last September, Away from the World was finally here in June. Back in the States it debuted at the top of the Billboard chart, making it their sixth album to do so, and it’s easy to see why.
There are so many themes on the album – so many that that most would slip through the fingers of less experienced bands – but DMB keep a firm grip on what they’re trying to say. They confront sex (Belly Full), politics (main single Mercy), mid-life crises (Sweet) and troubled relationships (The Riff) among other issues.
On the latter of the four Matthews wears his heart on his sleeve, gently vocalising reminiscent lyrics (“remember how we used to kiss baby…. remember how we used to love baby, love like it was everything”) entwined with desperate pleas (“if we stay together doesn’t mean we have to stay the same”). This thoughtful lyrical intimacy is consistent throughout the album, and to add to this, the band are still on top form after so many years. Tim Reynolds’ guitar riff on The Riff is fittingly gripping, as are the horn sections on the entire album. Time has only strengthened the band.
There is a perfect mix of understated, personal songs (especially the beautiful Sweet where Matthews showcases the scope of his well-tuned voice), and loud, foot stomping tracks. Rooftop is exemplary, a sing-a-long anthem that will please crowds at the stadiums they so consistently fill. They still know how to have fun: Belly Full, a song about lust and love, opens with a funky bass line accompanied by impressive saxophone that just makes you want to dance.
Overall, Dave Matthews Band have proven why they’re so big across the water. With a witty and extraordinary frontman and a band to match, Away from the World could be the album that makes them household names over here as well.
Away from the World was released on 24th June 2013.
Watch the video for Mercy here: