Dave Matthews Band - The Best of What’s Around Vol 1

2009-06-19 13:08
The liner notes by a long time reviewer and fan Steve Morse refers to DMB as a rock band. But you should consider DMB rock only if you thought of Sting’s Dream of the Blue Turtles and Bring on the Night era as rock.

Not that that’s a problem – like those aforementioned examples, Matthews’ music has easily transcended the need for being boxedinto a clumsy market-defined genre. It’s way better than any genre-definition you could foist upon it.

Dave Matthews fans simply won’t have to be convinced. But serial doubters like this reviewer will not be disappointed, either. Old Dave’s band made its reputation on being one of the most successful touring bands in the States over several years. With a legion of followers and a solid live and studio repertoire, DMB's success is truly a case of a band building its legend status quietly.

It’s no surprise then that the second disc holds the most intrigue, and it’s a great decision to include it as an element of the greatest hits. After all, the band is more popular for it’s live schedule than its studio output. Interesting for SA fans is a guest turn from Vusi Mahlasela on “Everyday” at a concert in Saratoga Springs last year. Sounded like a lot of fun. At one point Dave exclaims "Lekker!"

But the live stuff is obviously for fans – extended versions and all. The studio work still works best as a disc release and as a band reference.

For those few who don't know Matthews' sound, the music is a palette of acoustically flavoured colours, filling in landscapes as varied as the band’s touring routes probably are. Sometimes you can almost drop off into that late afternoon drowsiness you feel as you’re staring out the window of the bus, nothing but vast plains or a small town passing by outside. Not always music to travel by (especially if you’re driving), but certainly music inspired by road travel.

Most of the popular hits are here, and by popular we don’t mean most radio-played. Famously, Matthews is one of those artists that don’t get all that much international radio play (doesn’t fit the formats, see?), so ‘popular’ in this sense means the tracks most often listened to on car stereos or at home.

From the sax-driven breakdown of “Too Much” to the beautiful, Marsalis-esque “Grey Street” and so on and so on, there are hardly ever any boring moments in the music itself. Covering an already significant career, The Best of What's Around is most often simply inspired.

- Anton Marshall
Value for money greatest hits compilations are rare. This is one of those exceptions.

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Enid 2007/01/10 1:33 PM
The Bèst of what's around forsure! Classic Dave. Real good stuff. There really is no substitute for the best. We love you Dave!
BERT 2007/01/11 4:44 PM
The Best of what's around forever! You'll always get the best from the best.No one will ever get close.Love your music from start to finish and will never bore me.You are the greatest Dave.Keep the best coming.Love you dude.
Wesley Watson 2007/01/18 1:48 PM
Your music collection is incomplete without The Best of…. All the best of DMB in one tidy package, music for every mood, from celebrating the good life to remembering that one true love, that moved away. It’s a must have.
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