Sound — 10
This is the most original and innovative sound in todays music. I've never heard anything like it, even in other albums by the band. It's by far the darkest album the band has ever put out. It has a very bar-like feel to it. Has a lot of jazz and blues influence. Like always, drummer Carter Beauford shows why many consider him the greatest around. Alanis Morisette does some backup work on a few the songs. In "Spoon" and "Don't Drink The Water" she's amazing. Bassist Stefan Lessard really drives some grooves. In the end, nothing else compares with the sound on this CD. Rapunzel is like nothing else I ever heard before. At times it almost has a spiritual aspect, especially in Dreaming Tree. Tim Reynolds is brought back to do some "tasty" electric guitar work on many of the songs. There is nothing generic or superficial in any of the songs.
Lyrics — 10
Dave Matthews dug deep on this one. The lyrics are incredibly well done. Songs like Crush, Dreaming Tree, Spoon, and Stone take this album to the next level lyricly. Dave Matthews' voice sounds very much the same, but he does it in a way that is slightly deeper than in any previous albums by the band.
Overall Impression — 10
I can't get enough of this album. Although it's obvious that it's the Dave Matthews Band, it is very different than Crash and Under the Table. I would hold it up against any album of all time. Song after song this album keeps you listening. All of the songs have the same feel, yet are very different in sound. There is no question why it won so many awards. Crush is one of the best song I've ever heard. I highly recommend it. This is one very talented band and this album showcases this.