Rhythm & Views 

Dave Matthews Band

In the aftermath of September 11th, many musicians have used the tragedy to write songs that feel both contrived and meaningless. Almost a year later, Dave Matthews Band has released Busted Stuff, containing 11 gems that capture what Americans feel living in a newfound state of fear and doubt. Listening to the entire disc from start to finish is a journey of epic proportions. It begins with a broken heart and ends with a drink from the "All-Mighty" bartender. The content changes course from the light-hearted tone of last year's Everyday to pondering over the role of God. In between, Matthews turns his attention to the biggest mystery of all, the heart. The woman who would leave his broken heart ("and broken man") behind becomes the subject of the upbeat title track, which quickly takes a serious turn in "Grey Street." This woman who can break so many hearts has "cold blue ice in her heart" and "an emptiness inside her" that cries out for love and affection. The sweet sounds of "Where Are You Going" and smooth confessions of "Captain" send out an optimistic message about love while driving the romance to a fever pitch. As the final songs play out, the question of God's role in our changing world becomes the focal point of the intricate lyrics. "Big Eyed Fish" masquerades as an easy-going jam until the chorus reveals otherwise. "Unforgettable Bartender" marks the end as Matthews fill his glass "with the wine he gave Jesus that set him free after three days in the ground." He may not have all the answers, but nothing has stopped DMB from delivering innovative music that is both introspective and uplifting. They could not have picked a better time to return.

More by Michael Peel


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