The Dave Matthews Band’s highly anticipated fourth studio album is finally here. Everyday hit the shelves last week, and so far it is being met with mixed reviews. Glossing over the CD, it is typical Dave Matthews material; the instrumentation is just as we have come to expect from the quintet. However, the songs are creative in their own right and are deserving of some attention.
The first track, “I Did It” is also the first single from the album. If you’ve caught it on the airwaves, you know the song follows in the grand DMB tradition. Matthews’ raw vocal delivery punches the twisting lyrics. Also, a strong bass and guitar lead maintain a hard edge on a song about taking initiative and not regretting it.
“Dreams of Our Fathers” is another upbeat number. Like “I Did It,” “Dreams” encourages new ideas and initiative. The lyrics admit that it is easy to get caught up in trying to fulfill someone else’s ideas for our lives, but it is important to not settle for what has gone before us. According to the song, we should not allow ourselves to get trapped in the cycle of complacency rather than creating progress. Matthews says, “Don’t want to wake up, lost in the dreams of our fathers. It’s such a waste, child, to live and die for the dreams of our fathers.” A continuous beat, maintained by the guitar and drums, emphasizes the idea of plodding along in a state of indifference, but a variation in the bridge backs up the idea of breaking free.
The band also reveals their thoughtful side on Everyday. “If I Had It All” is a slower piece, subtly dominated by the horn section. The idea within the lyrics is that if he had everything right at his fingertips, and if he were able to give his love everything she desired, then what would be the purpose in life? If he had no goals to achieve, no struggles to strengthen him, then he would not sing. Music, or art of any kind, would be useless because he would be void of true emotions. The bridge has a really cool drum crescendo to the climatic realization that his younger days were sweeter because he was innocent and did not know of greed and desire. This is quite possibly the most powerful song on the album.
“Angel” is a mellow ditty about, yes, love. The song is a nice blending of keyboards, guitars, and horns; instrumentally it is one of the nicer songs featured on Everyday. Lyrically simplistic, “Angel” is one more lover’s attempt to declare undying devotion. The studio lights are low, the last cigarette has been smoked, and he still has one last thing to say; he can’t forget this girl who is sweet like candy but mysterious like a poker-faced expert card dealer. Matthews’ vocals are gentle and sensitive in this piece—-similar to “Crush” and “Crash.”
The title track “Everyday” is a free, feel-good piece. With its unplugged, grass roots simplicity combined with the lyrics that repeatedly say “All you need is love,” “Everyday” is an appropriate final track to the album.
The year 2001 marks a decade of creating and entertaining for the Dave Matthews Band. If the massive fan support and solid album contributions, like Everyday, continue, the boys will be around for another ten years.