Stand Up

Studio Album by released in 2005
Stand Up's tracklist:
Dreamgirl
Old Dirt Hill (Bring That Beat Back)
Stand Up (For It)
American Baby Intro
American Baby
Smooth Rider
Everybody Wake Up (Our Finest Hour Arrives)
Out of My Hands
Hello Again
Louisiana Bayou
Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd
You Might Die Trying
Steady as We Go
Hunger for the Great Light

Stand Up review

In the four-plus years since Dave Matthews Band last convened to write and record a new album, its members have toured the country several times over; released four live albums and the rejiggered leftovers collection Busted Stuff; and taken time out as the band's frontman recorded a successful, if lightweight, solo debut. The group also dipped its toe into politics, playing concerts for John Kerry on the Vote for Change Tour. But if you were expecting Dave Matthews Band to be bogged down by fame, fatigue or global politics on its thirteenth album, Stand Up, you haven't been paying much attention to this fourteen-year-old quintet.

The Dave Matthews Band's newly released Stand Up is another winning effort. The official return of the band shows them in full force and stretching way up. The South African-born vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews, of course, is the star of the show, and he shines brightly on a variety of entertaining material. He nearly whispers his way through the intimate gem Out Of My Hands and fires up for the Tabasco-hot foot-stomper Louisiana Bayou. Stand Up is definitely a group affair. Moore, who can blast like Clarence Clemons in concert, displays a soft, smooth-jazz touch on the romantic Stolen Away On 55th And 3rd. Beauford, one of the best drummers in rock, works with Lessard to create a slinky, down-tempo groove on the bluesy Smooth Rider, and then adds an angelic vocal refrain on Old Dirt Hill. Producer Mark Batson (Eminem, 50 Cent) uses Tinsley somewhat sparingly and always appropriately, such as on the plucked violin riff at the center of American Baby. The piano lullaby Steady As We Go is simply magical. Tracks like Hunger For The Great Light and Dreamgirl take us back to the familiar songwriting themes and capers of Dave Matthews — sex and romance. Matthews also revisits some of the darker themes of life, genuflecting on a post-9/11 climate dominated by fear and anger (American Baby, Out Of My Hands, Everybody Wake Up).

"This album," Matthews told, "is about love, life, God, death and sex." You can take him at his word, but Stand Up is also a quintessential summer record, a collection of tight, group-composed grooves and breezy tunes. There may not be enough sax and violin spotlights to satisfy old fans, but there's a lot of enlightened riff-rock and splashes of color to fill that void. Stand Up is as democratic a record as you can expect from a band named after the singer. If this album proves anything, it's that Dave Matthews Band has learned to temper its considerable chops with enough restraint and pop smarts that it no longer seems possible for even the most ardent punks to hate the group. Dave Matthews Band obviously had a lot of fun writing and producing this record, and this sort of cooperative behavior and sense of community often produces the more intriguing and complete material.

(24.05.2005)
Rate review4.08
Total votes - 23


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