Busted Stuff Album reviews.
Release Date: 07.16.02
Record label: Bama Rags / RCA
The Dave Matthews We All Know and Love
by: bill aicher
It can be argued that Dave Matthews Band's biggest mistake of their career was the release of 2001's Everyday. The album found the band straying wildly from their preset formula through which they had earned unbelievably immense fanbase. Gone were the acoustic guitars, the extended jams, and the sound that set the band apart from most other rock bands. What replaced them was a new sound with a new producer and an overall shoddy attempt at a pure rock album.
However, during this time there was also one of the largest bootlegging fiascos of all time. Prior to the release of Everyday the band had worked with their longtime producer, Steve Lillywhite, during which time they created what many fans argued to be some of their best music to date. Sadly these tracks were all scrapped in favor of a change of direction with new producer, Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette). Still, the so-called "Lillywhite Sessions" managed to leak their way onto the Internet and into the hands of thousands of fans hungry for the Dave Matthews Band they all knew and loved so dearly.
In response to the fanatical embrace of "The Lillywhite Sessions" (and more than likely a knee-jerk reaction to the poor repsonse of Everyday) the band went back to the studio, re-recorded several selections from the ill-fated sessions, and have released them as a new album - aptly titled Busted Stuff.
Featuring a return to their jam-rock roots explored so heavily on their "classic" albums Under the Table and Dreaming and Crash, Busted Stuff finds the band exercising its greatest skills. Songs are ripe with Matthews's acoustic guitar and the sax and violin infusions of Boyd Tinsley and Leroi Moore. They're tracks well-suited for the extended jams so prominent in the band's live shows, and they're undoubtedly some of the band's best work to date.
Another welcome change with the new album is Dave Matthew's near-abandonment of drunken lovesick singalongs, a move which shows the songwriting talent Matthews truly has but rarely exhibits.
Busted Stuff is without a doubt the album "Dave" fans have been yearning for, regardless of whether or not they've already invested their time or money into "The Lillywhite Sessions." There's a reason these tracks had become some of the most highly-traded and sought-after music of all time - they're pretty damn good.