Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Walk Around the Moon’ Review
The band’s sound had already been altering and deepening. On its Nineteen Nineties albums, Matthews’s guitar — typically acoustic — was the band’s solely chordal instrument, joined in light-fingered counterpoint by saxophone, violin, bass and drums for staccato grooves that blended folks, funk and jazz. Through the years, as its audiences grew to enviornment dimension, the band was bolstered with keyboards, electrical guitar and horns, rising brawnier, weightier and brassier. (Rashawn Ross, a trumpeter who has toured with the band since 2006, now has a extra distinguished position.) But the band’s founding rhythm part — Carter Beauford on drums and Stefan Lessard on bass — nonetheless retains the songs nimble, regardless of how burdened Matthews’s ideas can develop into.
“I’m down in this hole again,” he sings in “Looking for a Vein,” as he compares himself to a miner who works compulsively. “What if I strike it/rich as I want to be?” he muses over a loping, six-beat guitar lick. “Will it set me free/Or be just another hole to dig?” In “The Only Thing,” over a barreling electrical guitar riff that hints at Led Zeppelin, Matthews is determined to “Crawl out of this skin I’m living in/Crawl out of my mind into the outside.” And in “Monsters,” a reverberating ballad with a sputtering double time undercurrent, he’s attempting to reassure a toddler — or presumably himself — that the “monsters in your head” aren’t actual.
In these new songs, love, and even the risk of affection, solves lots of issues: the concern in “Monsters,” the self-loathing in “The Only Thing.” Other songs — “After Everything” and “Break Free” — cautiously have fun love going proper, emotionally and carnally, with Matthews pledging devotion whereas full-tilt horn sections blare his delight.
But he’s properly conscious that love, in a cheerful home sphere, is simply a person refuge, not a world answer. “The world is going in all directions/Like bottles shattered on the floor,” he sings in the elegiac “All You Ever Wanted Was Tomorrow.” And he closes the album alone on acoustic guitar, with “Singing From the Windows.” The track imagines being inside a siege, enthusiastic about “when the war is over” whereas watching fires and listening to sirens.