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Review: Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Come Tomorrow’ Balances Sensitivity, Big-Tent Musicality

On their first album in six years, the alt-rock jam titans produce mostly mature singer-songwriter fare

Josh Modell May 30, 2018

Dave Matthews Band's ninth album is 'Come Tomorrow.' Rene Huemer

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Though his star shone brightest in the Clinton era, Dave Matthews doesn’t seem too interested in indulging much Nineties nostalgia. His first album in six years features just a few of DMB’s least-attractive jam-funk impulses: “Can’t Stop” rides a rote groove and sentiment (“I’m like a junkie for you, babe”), and on the faux-metal stomper “She,” Matthews unconvincingly growls the line, “She hyp-mo-tizedme with her groove.” Mostly, though, he explores the mature, singer-songwriter side he’s developed during recent work like 2012’s Away From the World, getting quiet, contemplative, and unusually sweet on songs both lush (“Here On Out”) and comparatively spare (“Black and Blue Bird”). Other highlights include the towering, horn-heavy “Idea of You,” which might be the band’s most radio-ready song since “Crash Into Me” ”“ it’s also Matthews’ most assured vocal performance on Come Tomorrow, and its chorus stretches for days. Then there’s the oddly titled, Coldplay-esque “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin),” whose name presumably comes from the so-awful-it’s-good 1991 cult film, but whose lyrics offer a tender ode to child-rearing over Carter Beauford’s crisp drumming and Tim Reynolds’ bright guitar solo. Like the bulk of Come Tomorrow, they balance Matthews’ newly refined living-room sensitivity and his band’s big-tent musicality.

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