Some Devil

Some Devil

4.1 12
by Dave Matthews Band
     
 

Since Busted Stuff seemed to contain a lot more Dave Matthews and noticeably less "Band," it's not altogether surprising that the singer-guitarist would seize upon that momentum to issue his first solo studio album. Some Devil is largely introspective and stripped-down, the moods a bit more muted than on most DMB work, asSee more details below

Overview

Since Busted Stuff seemed to contain a lot more Dave Matthews and noticeably less "Band," it's not altogether surprising that the singer-guitarist would seize upon that momentum to issue his first solo studio album. Some Devil is largely introspective and stripped-down, the moods a bit more muted than on most DMB work, as indicated by the somber single "Gravedigger," which features some subtly abrasive guitar work from Trey Anastasio. The Phish guitarist was also hooked for some writing on the disc, and his mark is most palpable on "Grey Blue Eyes," a fine-spun, summer-breezy yarn. "Stay or Leave," a melancholy breakup song, furthers the album's theme of loss and regret, with Matthews's subdued vocals conveying a sense of ingrained puzzlement. Some Devil isn't without its brighter moments, of course: The jaunty "Dodo," fueled by the horns of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, struts along with a Crescent City bounce, while "So Damn Lucky" makes the most of the high end of Matthews's vocal register, using it to springboard the song's hopeful tone into the ether. Some Devil may prove a mild surprise to fans of the Matthews Band, but Dave's not pulling a Jekyll and Hyde -- he's merely exercising a few muscles he hasn't flexed in the studio before.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It wouldn't seem that a solo album from Dave Matthews would be all that different from a Dave Matthews Band album, since he's not only the singer/songwriter/guitarist; he leads the band and gives it its very name. That assumption turns out to be incorrect, since Some Devil sounds and feels much different than any DMB effort. With Some Devil, Matthews has turned in a brooding, moody album that attempts to extend the breakthrough of Busted Stuff, which signaled a considerable leap forward for Matthews as a songwriter and musician, finding him tackling darker territory. Here, he turns up the darkness even more, but loses the fluid musicality that came with DMB's loose-limbed jams. In a way, it's an attempt to shore up his credentials as a singer/songwriter, something that has always been overshadowed by his brood's status as jam-band favorites, and Some Devil certainly feels more at home among modern singer/songwriters from John Mayer to Rufus Wainwright than it does next to the String Cheese Incident. Even though he's cut a lot of fat off his songs, he still favors meandering to directness, which combined with the deliberately somber mood of the album means this often sounds like Automatic for the People as written and performed by Sting. The end results are a bit unwieldy, perhaps, and not always successful, but it is interesting and certainly different than a Dave Matthews Band record. Most importantly, even if it is a rather modest success, Some Devil does showcase a continued growth for Matthews as a songwriter.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
The first track, "Dodo," is one of the loveliest songs Mr. Matthews has ever recorded: it floats onward and upward on a casual, shuffling guitar line, altering course slightly with each falsetto phrase from Mr. Matthews.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2003
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828765516723
catalogNumber:
55167
Rank:
32058

Tracks

  1. Dodo
  2. So Damn Lucky
  3. Gravedigger
  4. Some Devil
  5. Grey Blue Eyes
  6. Trouble
  7. Save Me
  8. Stay or Leave
  9. An' Another Thing
  10. Oh
  11. Baby
  12. Up and Away
  13. Too High
  14. Gravedigger (acoustic)

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