August 14th, 2002
I'm pretty sure I've liked every Dave Matthews song I've ever heard, which makes it strange that this is only the second of their CDs that I've bought. Considering that DMB (which is what all the cool people call them) releases about a dozen CDs per year (give or take the difference between a dozen and the actual number), it's even more amazing that I've avoided them this long. I've finally traced the reason for this back to a psychologically scarring event in my childhood. Back then, all of my music purchases were from either Columbia House or BMG. In one of my bulk purchases, I ordered Crush, because I'd always liked the song, "What Would You Say." Yes, of course, you know that song is actually on Under the Table and Dreaming, but, at the time, I didn't. It didn't matter how good the CD was, I was still disappointed. And I had held that against DMB all these years.
Well, for shame on me. Busted Stuff is a good album. And it has a story, which makes any CD better. It seems that DMB made an album several years ago that was never released. That, of course, didn't keep it from making the rounds on the Internet. Busted Stuff contains new versions of many of those songs. I've never heard the old versions -- supposedly, they're darker and, according to some, better than the new versions. I wouldn't worry too much about that if I were you. The new versions are very, very good. I don't believe your life will be any worse for having never heard the old ones.
I love DMB's sound. It's almost hypnotic. You can let it play in the background and just enjoy the calm melody, or listen closely, and hear some really interesting lyrics. I'd never noticed before how much jazz there is in their music. Listen to "Kit Kat Jam," or a karaoke version of "Busted Stuff," and you'd swear this was a jazz album. You'll also be alone at all of your parties, because you insist on bringing out the karaoke machine every time.
I'm not even going to try to pick favorite songs from this CD. I liked "Where Are You Going" before I heard it on this CD, so that doesn't count. As I write this, I've got "Busted Stuff" playing in my head, but that may just be because it's the title song.
And, it comes with a DVD, which I was mighty impressed by. Probably because I just recently bought a DVD player. It contains live performances of "Grey Street" and "Bartender," and an audio only version of "Bartender" — which seems kind of strange to throw on a DVD, but there ya go.
My one complaint is with the liner notes. If you want to read the lyrics, you'll have to go online. They're in the notes, but they are almost impossible to read. The text is nearly the same color as the background on each page. This may be very artistic, but it's just annoying to those of us who like to read lyrics.
In short, if you're a DMB fan, this CD has lots of yummy DMB goodness for you to enjoy. If you're not — what's the matter with you? Go sort out your issues, then come back and give this a listen.