It is undoubtedly trite to say that you either get a particular artist or group, or you don’t. That you either love them or hate them, because there is no middle ground. Yet Dave Matthews Band is – and has been for nearly three decades – one of those groups. For the sake of transparency, let me just say that I don’t get the appeal of Dave Matthews Band, but I also don’t have a problem with them. It’s been nearly six years since the group released their last studio, and with the release of Come Tomorrow, they are unlikely to change anyone’s mind about them.
Come Tomorrow opens with lead single Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin), and the track comes across as flat despite the excellent syncopations from drummer Carter Beauford, whose performances are consistently solid throughout the record. Can’t Stop falls into a pleasing groove, and the breakdown in for the track’s mid-section reflects the fact that the song, along with Idea of You, has been in the band’s live repertoire for the past ten years. Virginia in the Rain has a chilled vibe to its intro, which meshes well with the song’s six-minute duration – although the song seems to lose its way for the last third – and this contrasts well with the earlier track She, which almost sounds like Soundgarden in its delivery.
While Come Tomorrow is Dave Matthews Band’s ninth studio record, they have over eighty live albums under their collective belt, making it clear that they and their fans clearly see them as a live act. This is reflected in songs like That Girl Is You, which has a loose, almost jammy, feel to it, and Come On Come On which ebbs and flows in a manner suggestive of a freeform live performance. As a studio record, Come Tomorrow is well produced if lacking in any really engaging songs for those new to Dave Matthews Band. But its purpose isn’t to bring new fans to the fold. Rather it is an album intended to serve the fervent fan base and showcase songs that will – or already had – feature in the group’s concerts.