Mon. May 20th, 2024

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Album Review: Dave Matthews Band – Walk Around The Moon

2 min read
Walk Around The Moon, the brand new album from Dave Matthews Band is out. Here is our full review of the LP...

Walk Around The Moon is the tenth studio album by Dave Matthews Band. It’s their first since the departure of founding member Boyd Tinsley, who was fired in 2018 after a lawsuit accusing him of sexual misconduct. Nonetheless, it’s the most gelled the jam band has sounded in years. The album was mostly written during the pandemic with members sending audio files back and forth online. The result is an eclectic blend of styles that ranges from small and intimate to loud and funky. The songs are often short and lack the unfurling instrumentals of their classic sound, but several of them have the potential to be expanded upon when played live. For a band renowned for their live shows, the studio tracks have to be assessed with one eye to how they’ll translate to their performances, and a couple of tracks will undoubtedly become regulars in their set lists.

The album kicks off with the title track, opening with a bouncy acoustic guitar rhythm that the regular assortment of DMB instruments soon come in and build around. There’s a kind of otherworldly psychedelia in the lyrics, with Matthews “flying into this kaleidoscope dream” and bringing us with him. The next track, Madman’s Eyes, begins with an ominous, cinematic intro in an Arabic style that continues throughout the song. While the first track’s lyrics were somewhat metaphysical, here Matthews is looking at the state of America, particularly at the plague of school shootings which are all too common in the news: “Run and hide, don’t ask why, nobody wants to see the look in his eyes.” Beneath the descriptions of violence is a political commentary urging the country to do better on gun control: “Is it really so hard to do what we know is right?” The highlight of the album comes towards the end of the album in Break Free – it’s musically and lyrically a simpler track than most of the album but this is to its benefit, feeling like a classic DMB song that will certainly have longevity at their live shows.

While Walk Around The Moon likely won’t attract new fans to the band, there’s enough of their classic sound here to satisfy diehard Dave Matthews Band fans while still feeling like an evolution of their sound. The album is a mixed bag but it’s songs will freshen up the band’s repertoire – perhaps some of the songs that don’t hit as hard in their studio form will become cult classics in a live setting.