Well Mr. Matthews and his band have certainly done it again with their seventh studio album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, aptly named for their late guitarist LeRoi Moore who was in an ultimately fatal ATV accident in in 2008.
This album brings a more electronically connected DMB to the masses. For the people who were pissed off about Everyday, this is not the album for you. It seems that long gone are the days of mumbling, acoustic Matthews, now not afraid to bare his teeth as heard near the end of “Time Bomb”. Raw emotion at it’s finest. This album is less bare feet and granola than it is bluesy, Dave Matthews’ patented funk style, rock and roll.
The massive musical force that is DMB find themselves among tighter musical arrangements and a sort of weird…toughness lacked in their previous efforts. Don’t worry, Dave Matthews isn’t turning into Henry Rollins or anything. There’s still some mellow goodness to this album with tracks like, “Spaceman” and “Baby Blue”, along with some world music influences with the eastern inspired, “Squirm” and bluegrass banjo in “Alligator Pie”.
I’d say that the biggest hit from this album will be “Funny the Way It Is”, a whimsical song more catchy than the plague and “Why I Am” for similar sentiments.
All in all, it’s a good album. There is a halo of loss to it that elicits a stronger emotional response than pre-electric DMB. Sort of a Peter Gabriel-esque sadness. B