You and Me and DMB

Amanda Jagus

Courtesy of Dave Mathews Band

For the third installment of I‰’m Not Like The Other Girls, I‰’m delving deep into the acoustic, mumbling, saxophone solo-filled world of The Dave Matthews Band. I remember seeing a poster of Dave Matthews, himself, on the walls of my cousin’s freshman dorm in 2008. Clearly, this meant that DMB had to be amazing.

Known for their expansive instrumentals and not-so-unique white boy sound, Dave Matthews Band strummed their way into my life early. As another artist that I picked up through my older sibling and cousins, I was sure that DMB was undoubtedly cool. Before going back and listening to DMB‰’s expansive discology, a little part of me hoped I wouldn‰’t like them anymore. How could I possibly like a band that I started listening to in 7th grade? 7th grade was probably the most misguided time in my life. I mean, I wore leggings underneath my jean skirts. It was bad.

But I digress. I found myself not hating them as much as I thought I would. Especially since listening to an old favorite artist or group always brings back an initial wave of nostalgia. For Dave Matthews, I specifically remembered ripping DMB CDs into my iTunes library (wow that‰’s a sentence I never thought would sound antiquated). After a poignant memory or two, however, the music critic finds its way out out. I can’t help but ask, “Why is there so much saxophone? Was a drum solo really necessary there?”

My main issue with DMB is that they have so much music that all sounds so similar, every track usually fades into the next one. In turn, it creates some type of pseudo-white noise comprised mainly of falsetto moaning and electric violin. Although I‰’ll never get tired of “Crash‰” and “You and Me,” all the filler begs me to ask, what is the appeal?

DMB is most famously known for their nation wide summer tours and concerts with sprawling renditions of original tracks. No live performance is the same as the one before it. The band has been playing in background of white boy‰’s make out sessions since 1991, and I‰’d argue that their concerts are one of the things driving their sustained popularity.

Listening to DMB didn‰’t make me cool in 7th grade, and it will warrant some judgmental stares from my Spotify history if I consistently listened to them now. I give DMB 2.5 drum solos out of 5 based solely on the fact that they found a way to incorporate so much electric violin into their music.