Dave Matthews Band – Come Tomorrow: Let the children lead the way. (And let the dads make the dad rock.)

Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Album: Come Tomorrow
Year: 2018
Grade: B-

In Brief: The DMB’s comeback after a six-year gap between albums may not be the most attention-grabbing entry in their discography, but there’s a subtle richness to a lot of the instrumentation that makes it easier to tolerate the usual bits of hedonism and outright nonsense that tend to crop up in the typical Dave Matthews lyric. The band is showing its age a bit at this point, but they also seem to be quite comfortable with that age.

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What Am I Listening To? – June 2018

Wow, June was a crazy month for new music. Probably because there were five Fridays. A bunch of stuff I was looking forward to dropped on June 1, and then again just yesterday on June 29. Because I prefer to have listened to something a bare minimum of twice before mentioning it here, and just for the sake of my overall sanity, I’ve decided to punt a few of those June 29 releases to July, so that I can focus more on the few that I did manage to get to thus far.

Here are my first impressions of the latest releases from Sucré, Owl City, Neko Case, Father John Misty, The Flaming Lips, Dave Matthews Band, Arthur Buck, Kevin Max, Mike Shinoda, Florence + The Machine, Jim James, and Katie Herzig.

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Dave Matthews Band – Away From the World: Don’t waste time trying to be something you’re not.

2012_DaveMatthewsBand_AwayFromtheWorld

Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Album: Away From the World
Year: 2012
Grade: B

In Brief: This album might not grab your attention right away, but with classic DMB jams and unexpected new musical directions, it’s one of their most artistically respectable efforts.

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Dave Matthews Band – Under the Table and Dreaming: What would you say if I was almost 20 years late to the party?

1994_DaveMatthewsBand_UndertheTableandDreaming

Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Album: Under the Table and Dreaming
Year: 1994
Grade: A

In Brief: This was the DMB’s first studio album and yet everyone was already at the top of their game. Crash remains my favorite, but this one is darn close.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #84: January-February 2010

Starting the year 2010 off in Hawaii, as Christine and I finished up the last few days of our vacation and our visit with her friends and family, offered a lot of chances for rest and reflection on the almost five years of our marriage so far, and what challenges were potentially ahead of us in this new decade. Going back to the first set of mix CDs I made to cover the first two months of that year, I’m reminded of how my outlook on music was changing (a lot more indie rock, not so much Christian music although I retained a few of my long-time favorites) along with my outlook on life (less rigid and black-and-white, more open to being shown new perspectives and subjecting long-standing beliefs to greater scrutiny to see if they still held water). A lot of it was more about capturing a certain aesthetic or mood rather than a specific meaning – yet after spending some time with this collection of songs again after all these years, I’ve realized as I zoom out and look at the set as a whole that there are still some distinct markers of experiences in my life or ideas I was wrestling with, that give the diverse and sometimes even contradictory elements of these playlists a reason for being together that maybe I couldn’t have fully articulated at the time.

In with the New:
The Paper Raincoat
As Tall as Lions

Out with the Old:
Creed
Anathallo

Listen on Spotify:

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The Best of the Ought Nots, Part IV: 21-40

We’re approaching the top of the list now. Everything here is solid “A grade” material that got nothing but a glowing recommendation when I reviewed it… and most of it has only improved with age.

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The Best of 2009: Now Departing for Stockholm, Hawaii, New Orleans, and Points Inland

The end of 2009 is upon us, friends. It was a year that many of us didn’t look forward to, already knowing to expect financial woes and potential job losses (if not already realized ones) going into it – a year where the unexpected road ahead seemed to promise more hardship than exciting new possibilities to explore. but a poor year for the world was a rich year for music – either because artists channelled their angst into some of the best songs they’d ever written, or because more and more of them were jumping ship on the big labels and finding freedom to go where their imaginations would take them even if the audiences weren’t as big as a result. Some found artful ways to downsize while others played it as over-the-top as they could in defiance of expectations. In the end, it was a more exciting year than I could have anticipated, one that has left me with a lot to look forward to.

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