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Jakespeak

My reaction to "Everyday" criticism

February 18, 2001

With the new album almost here, you would think that the DMB community would be filled with nothing but pure excitement and anticipation. However, through spending time on internet message boards such as Nancies.org, I have been surprised to find just the opposite. There are many people who are completely opposed to the "new" sound of Dave Matthews Band. These people feel that DMB has sold out to the music industry, and that RCA and new producer Glen Ballard are now calling the shots, not the band. My opinion on this matter? I could go on forever explaining myself, but I'll keep it simple: You would have to be crazy to agree with any of these negative criticisms of "Everyday."

DMB's new sound is not that much different. The fact that Dave is playing electric guitar for the first time adds a new urgency and edge to the material. Every new album has brought something new to the table. Listen to "Crash," and then listen to "Before These Crowded Streets." You'd have to be deaf to not hear any changes in the music. This is what makes DMB so great. They can play different styles of music, while still remaining so unique and still sounding like the same old band. Those who criticize the fact that most of the songs on the album clock in around 4 or 5 minutes need to realize that they won't be played that way on tour. Like every DMB song, these songs will be jammed out in the live environment, where a 4 minute song can easily turn into a 12 minutes one. Besides, most fans would rather hear the live versions of these songs as opposed to the studio ones, right?

DMB was not pressured by RCA Records or Glen Ballard to switch gears with "Everyday," it was completely the band's decision. The Lillywhite sessions were made up of great music, but Dave felt it was music that was made to please the industry.

"We all felt we needed an injection of freshness," Matthews admits, adding that he felt hampered by what he percieved as pressure "to write music that would please the industry."

It is also untrue that RCA forced the band to changed producers. They weren't getting much work done this time around with Lillywhite. That's why they didn't complete the album by the time they first intended (before the Summer 2000 tour).

"We had been working with Steve Lillywhite with whom we've worked for years and who is such a dear friend of ours, but I think we had fallen into a habitual way of doing things," Dave says.

Why is RCA promoting the album so much? The answer is simple: they've finally realized what a huge, diverse fan base DMB has grown to be. Like any good business would, they are trying to make as much money as possible off of "Everyday." They realize how amazing this album is, and that the fan base is only going to spread because of it.

Personally, I really like the new album. It's so upbeat, the band seems like they're having a lot fun playing the new material. If you don't believe me, watch the music video for "I Did It," the first single and try to tell me that you have ever seen the band having so much fun. If that doesn't do it for you, go to the "Everyday" information area on my site (link on the main page) and read some of the quotes from the band as they talk about the new album.

The music has changed, slightly, but the band is still the same. They still put their heart and soul into every note they play and every word they sing. The tour this year is going to be better than ever, and the band is also planning to release a new live album late in 2001. I could keep going, but I'm gonna stop. To conclude, I'll use a quote from Musictoday.com, who pretty much summed it up best:

Before passing judgement on the new sound, give "Everyday" a few spins, and you just might find the old magic is still there.