- Audio CD (July 16 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Enhanced
- Label: BMG Music Canada Ltd.
- ASIN: B00006696R
- Other Editions: Paperback | Audio CD | Audio Cassette
- Average Customer Review: 404 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,812 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Busted Stuff Enhanced
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The brand new studio album from DAVE MATTHEWS BAND is an enhanced CD that includes 11 new songs. The enhanced portion of the CD features special access to unreleased material, video footage, performances, and interviews! The bonus DVD contains live performances & a 5.1 audio mix of "Bartender."
Dave Matthews doesn't exactly seem thrilled about this release. But how would you feel if you made an album with a producer you didn't like, dumped it, and then woke up one morning to find it leaked on the Internet and available at every bootleg stall in New York City? That's pretty much what happened with "The Lillywhite Sessions," the unreleased, darker predecessor to the blockbuster Everyday album. Rather than turn their back on the fans, however, Matthews and company returned to the studio to do the job right. On Busted Stuff, they revive those solemn songs with diligent intensity, creating lovely swaths of melancholy and transcendence. Elegant tracks like "Grace Is Gone" and "Digging a Ditch" replace the dreary gloss of the last album with dazzling intimacy, and even the band's usual tendency for meandering jazz-rock flights is kept in check by the sheer weight of the material. Impressive stuff, in spite of what Matthews apparently thinks. --Aidin Vaziri
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Nor is it really necessary to deliver a blow-by-blow account of each song here and what it might mean. What's important is that this CD will stay put in your player for some time. You will not be skipping tracks because of anyone you intensely dislike though you may seek out favorites or songs that relate to what's happening to you right now.
One of the reason, no doubt, for the huge success of DMB is that so many or their songs resonate with the American experiences of love, fear, sadness, soul-searching, reaching, growing, and, of course, having a really good time. Or, to put it another way, Dave Matthews has eased into the persona of the character in Jackson Browne's classic For Everyman, an observer of culture and behavior, who "as the evening descends I sit thinking 'bout Everyman."
"Busted Stuff" finds the band in great form and sounding like a band again. (One criticism against "Everyday" is that it sounded as though it could have been recorded with sessions musicians backing up Dave Matthews.)
As usual, Carter Beauford is at the center of things, moving the music along like a circus ringmaster; Stefan Lessard proves that Dave Matthews had great intuition when he asked the bassist to help anchor the sound; and Boyd Tinsley gets creative with his Zeta violins. Leroi Moore steps out quite a bit, adding some nice flourishes to the sound, and of course, Dave Matthews offers his trademark work on guitar and delivers the right note and tone on his vocals and lyrics.
It's all very fluid and very machine like, and, consequently, rather a colorless recording. If there is to be a criticism against DMB, then it might be summed up like this: they are masters of their genre but having ascended to the top, they rarely tinker with the formula.
It's hard to think of a band to compare DMB with except perhaps the long, gone English group Family, which relied on largely the same instruments as DMB (guitar, drums, bass, sax, violin, keyboards) and featured in Roger Chapman, one of the most distinct vocalists in rock's history. Yet Family never approached the success on DMB on any level, in part because each Family recording sounded so much unlike the others. So, on the one hand, there is little reason to argue with success, but, on the other, it might be fun to hear a bit more experimentation and to see what a creative revamping might yield.
I have read some press suggesting that Dave Matthews was not particularly pleased about this effort, and that a variation of this disc had surfaced a couple of years ago. Whatever the circumstances, all credit to Mr. Matthews and his colleagues for returning to the studio to produce this excellent work. As far as my own listening tastes, I found several previous releases by the band to be a little too drawn out and of a scattered effort. I understand they enjoy to riff and jam - comparisons have been made to the Grateful Dead - but the end result has been songs that I didn't particularly care for. That seemed to turn around with their last release, "Everyday", which was a tighter effort and one that I liked (perhaps I am in the minority on this one). In "Busted Stuff", they have maintained that tight cohesiveness, contributing to a disc that is very easy for the casual listener to get into.
There are an outstanding array of songs here, ranging from the upbeat to the dark and brooding to everything in between. The unique Dave Matthews Band sound is very much in fine form, but on many tracks, it seems to exude more of a jazz flair than in his previous material. That fusion of a jazz-rock style makes for some genuinely catchy tunes that "hook" the listener instantly. It is one of those rare discs that doesn't require multiple spins through the CD player to get used to or appreciate.
The radio release from this disc seems to be "Where Are You Going", which is a good song, but not what I would think to be the strongest track on this disc. I really enjoy "Grace Is Gone", "Captain", and "Grey Street"; on the one hand, they all seem to be conveying different moods, yet there seems to be a undefined common thread through these and the rest of the tracks. "Kit Kat Jam" is also a bouncy, fun instrumental that would seem to be a snippet to a much more expansive live concert free-for-all. But the one track that I am most intrigued by is the final song, the dark and intense "Bartender". From the first note, it just heightens my interest, and though there isn't a whole lot to the lyrics, it seems to be saying so much about death and redemption. In my mind, it seems the kind of song that Johnny Cash would sing. Perhaps it is the respect Mr. Matthews has shown to Mr. Cash in the past, or his collaboration with him, but "Bartender" just seems to grab the Man In Black formula and evolve it into a 21st-century sound.
Lyrically, the tracks on this disc are a bit repetitive, but that doesn't detract from the ultimate listening pleasure. Sometimes, I get annoyed at a lack of thought and effort in lyrics, but in Dave Matthews, he can get away with going simplistic or complex, mainly because his stellar musicianship - and that of his band - are the ultimate drivers in their music.
Again, I don't know what the die-hard fan thinks of "Busted Stuff", but as a casual fan, I think it is easily one of his best discs to date. I have played this disc around friends and family who are by no means Dave Matthews Band fans and they wind up enjoying the music, and given that, it is also one of his more "friendly" discs for a much broader audience. As such, I give it a full five-star rating, and recommend it to all audiences.
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Busted Stuff-Great song, with good lyrics and a fun beat. A good, upbeat song to start of the album.Read more