Sound — 8
I have been a DMB fan for a while now and this is a totally different cd than I'm used to hearing from them. For example, during the intro of Stand Up, Carter Beauford tries out the electric drum set while Dave starts the song playing a riff on his acoustic and during the verse switching to single notes on his electric. Although DMB is not a studio band I see this being very hard for them to pull off in a concert, even with all the pedals accessible today. Songs that deserve recognition: Old Dirt Hill (great opening guitar riff), American Baby Intro (classic DMB jam intro), American Baby, Out Of My Hands (a more chill song, the piano is whipped out with a soft snare in the backround), and Hello Again (reminds me of Ants Marching).
Lyrics — 8
Dave's smooth voice really makes an impression on this CD. Although the songs are not all up-tempo, the music fits perfectly with the mood of the lyrics. But you can tell Dave's voice is aging, there weren't many times if any at all when I heard Dave hit a higher pitch note. The lyrics, on the other hand, are very sub-par to Dave's abilities. You guys may think I'm an idiot but he repeats himself a lot. For example, in the American Baby Intro all he says is "She said," compared to Pantala Naga Pampa where he switches it up. Yet overall, it's good stuff.
Overall Impression — 10
Personally I think this album is great. But you are hearing this from someone who saw Metallica, Godsmack, David Bowie, Polyphonic Spree (don't ask), Nappy Roots, and DMB concerts this year. So to say the least, my variety of music is widespread. If you go out and buy this cd you won't be dissapointed. It could be the second greatest studio album by Dave Matthews right after Crash. But do yourself a favor and go to the nearest Best Buy, or wherever is nearest to your shack, and buy Stand Up.