Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Album Review: “Away from the World” by Dave Matthews Band

for fans of
Jack Johnson
singles to download
‘The Riff,’ ‘If Only,’ ‘Sweet’

Dave Matthews Band released its newest album “Away from the World” this past Tuesday. Although the band stays true to its original, jazzy rock on this album, many of the songs showcase a new side. There are mature words of wisdom as Matthews encourages us to have faith in ourselves. The lyrics can be a bit mawkish, but because of the band’s success in keeping with its fresh, unconventional sound and epic instrumentals, the sappy words don’t compromise the album’s brilliance.

The “Away from the World” cover features Matthews’ own artwork, inspired by the theme of loneliness in a new song, “The Riff.” This prog-rockish song starts off somber with soft acoustic guitar and Matthews gently begging “please don’t leave me here, sitting in a box away from the world out there” but becomes hopeful with the classic DMB explosion of blasting horns, electric guitar and violin by the end.

Although bearing new members (saxophonist LeRoi Moore passed away in 2008 and was replaced by Jeff Coffin) and a more mature outlook, the band has kept most of its traditions. It certainly left room for solo instrumentals, setting the stage for its well-known jam-outs in live performances in songs like “Drunken Soldier,” which is the longest song DMB has ever recorded at 9:46. Being both the quietest and the loudest song on the album, it ranges from hard rock to soft jazz. The words aren’t introduced until three minutes in, but it’s worth the wait.

Whether or not you’re a steadfast fan, Dave Matthews will surprise and please you with his new contemplative moods and ingenious sounds in “Away from the World.”

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  • candy says:

    Artwork reminds me of Shel Silverstein ;-)

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  • Mike says:

    Love the vibes of this album! I will definitely be trying to get out and see DMB live again very soon, come on tour dates! Also loving what they did with involving their fans for the Mercy video, right on!

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  • kalie says:

    Been playing the new album non stop! And I love the fan video they made for Mercy

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  • GAZ says:

    korey, there you go again! On another web site ranting about peoples ignorance. As I said on another web site, time to grow up dude. You are truly taking any slight criticism of this album way to personal.

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  • Jeremy says:

    Korey, please don’t bring age into this. I’m 20 and DMB is my favourite band. So what if I didn’t listen to them when they were in their “prime”? Does that make me less of a fan than people who were able to see them live in the early 90′s? The author gave AFTW a decent rating; no need to talk down on him.

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    • Kendu says:

      Hey, I saw them play with Iron and Wine in MPLS this past fall and they were great. They have a darn good e.p. that they put out for the tour thats very good. I belive you can find some demo MP3′s on their wetsibe (you could for a while at least, haven’t checked in a number of months)

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  • korey says:

    Please stick to school and not writting reviews on a band you know nothing about!!!! Your prob 19 to 21 yrs old which would make u a baby when they hit the scene. This record is nothing short of amazing, their best work in more than a decade. The bands you listen to could only dream of being this musically gifted and create an album like this. Jack Johnson is good but not even in the same breath as this band!!!! So please stick to ” call me maybe”its and getting your degree because reviews arent your thing.

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878