Crash, Part III: Crash Into Me

“Crash Into Me” is one of those songs I hate to love, but love to hate. Most DMB fans have their short-list of songs the detest, don’t want to hear, etc (usually “Angel,” “I Did It,” etc), and often times, “Crash Into Me” makes that list. That is, if you’re talking to a male fan. As for the female DMB related population, they love this song.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad song. I enjoy hearing it live, but if I had a choice of songs I wanted to hear, “Crash Into Me” might not make that list.

As far as popularity goes in the novice DMB crowds, this is right up there. I’d say it’s definitely one of, if not the, most widely popular song on Crash. So there is a lot to be said about that. I’m just trying to be honest with you, and tell you it appeals to a more female audience, and most hardcore fans could do without it.

That being said…

Lyrics.

Song Meaning: More or less, it’s about a perv. It’s clearly this dude being a creep, watching a girl through her window. Voyeurism at its finest.

Studio Version:

Live Version:

Total Play Count: 668

Album Ranking: 11/12

I’ve mentioned it before in this post, and I’ll say it again. I don’t hate this song.

That being said, it’s the 11th best song on Crash. To me! If you’re reading this, and you love “Crash Into Me” and you’re getting pissed right now, remember… it’s just my opinion. I don’t hate it, I could just do without it. That’s a big difference. When it’s on, I’ll listen to it, sing along, etc. Especially at concerts, where I will never complain about hearing a song for more than the first 30 seconds. Then I’ll stop bitching and start singing along.

Anyway… let’s get down to the basics here. Pretty simple musical accompaniment in this one. Carter plays some soft ride cymbal to start things off, then has a slow roll going on the snare.

Boyd pulls out a few long strides on his violin here and there, and the sax fills in nicely.

Other than that, it’s not that complicated on paper (unless you’re a musician, in which case you don’t count). But sometimes songs that are easy to figure out/interpret… don’t make bad songs.

While I only ranked “Crash Into Me” 11/12 on Crash, I really do enjoy the song when it’s played live. Throughout the years, Dave has injected the “Dixie Chicken” outro to the song.

I will be your Dixie Chicken

If you’ll be my Tennessee Lamb

And we can walk together

Down in Dixie Land.

That… along with the “I’m the king of the castle” makes for a solid way to end the song live, especially when Dave really gets into it.

That’s another side note. Any time Dave really gets into a song, screams, wails, or whatever… I think that song becomes at least 10 times better. It’s just a fact. Look it up.

Speaking of looking things up. I want you to go back to the video of the studio version of this song… and go to around the 30 second mark, and tell me Dave doesn’t look like Steve-O from Jackass. Just saying.

In the end… “Crash Into Me” is a good song. Nothing spectacular about it. If I don’t hear it at a concert, I wont be upset. If I do hear it at a concert, I will enjoy it, and then move on. That’s just the facts of life.

Song Rating: 3/5

Next Song: “Too Much”

Crash, Part II: Two Step

“Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain.”

That line sums up the Dave Matthews Band in one sentence. This song is, hands down, one of the biggest, most popular, and most recognizable DMB songs. No questions asked. The number of times this song has been chanted for at concerts, played at after-prom parties, and thoroughly enjoyed at every single concert the band has every played it in.

As a die-hard fan of the Dave Matthews Band, you’re almost obligated to love this song. I’m sure there are a select few who are tired of it, don’t enjoy it as much as others, etc. I don’t share that same opinion. If I heard this song at every concert I ever attended, I’d be happy. It’s such an uplifting, fun, jamming, kick-ass song.

From the first strumming of the violin by Boyd… the crowd knows what’s coming, and they go nuts. But can you blame them? Celebrate we will, “Two Step.” We will celebrate you.

Lyrics.

Song Meaning: To put it simply, Carpe Diem*. (*for further assessment, click the link.)

Studio Version:

Live Version:

Total Play Count: 858

Album Ranking: 2/12

What better place to begin… than the beginning. The signature sound of this song is the violin intro. That sets the tone for the entire song, right off the bat. The violin is coupled with the guitar, and other instruments slowly start in, along with some eerie vocals. Then…

CRASH! Crash! Bam! Crash! Crash!

It’s not as powerful on the album as it is live, but just go with it. Carter picks up his pace after crashing us into the first verse. Dave sings it much higher on Crash than he does now live, but that kind of goes without saying.

The instrumental aspect of the song stays consistent throughout, with the snare-work from Carter nice and steady, with some sax in the background during the chorus. Then… after the first chorus… Boyd gives us a little more strumming on the violin. Good stuff.

As with most songs by the Dave Matthews Band, one of my favorite parts comes from Mr. LeRoi Moore. I really dig the bass sax playing during the chorus, when Dave starts singing, “Because life is short but sweet for certain.” Again… it’s not as prominent in the studio version. Having seen so many live shows, and loving the songs more in the live-form… I feel like those versions sometimes taint my view of the songs. I hope you bear with me there.

During the second chorus, you can really start hearing some more sax, and it’s nice and groovy. Gotta love it.

Another great part about this song, is the fantastic lyrics. I hope you read through all the lyrics that I post, or at least take a glimpse. And if you’d rather listen to the lyrics, always start with the studio version, just to get a base knowledge of the song. But with “Two Step,” just listening can tell you all you need to know about the song. There is no hidden message in the lyrics (at least I don’t think there is). It’s pretty straight forward. Enjoy life know, because you never know when you’ll kick the bucket.

There does seem to be a little more than meets the eye to the lyrics, but nothing I can really determine. Regardless, how can you not love this line:

Hey, my love, you came to me like wine comes to this mouth

Grown tired of water all the time

You quench my heart and you quench my mind

And then… it rolls right back into the chorus. I just love it!

Now where the live version really divulges from the studio, is toward the end of the song. The live version of “Two Step” is really known for its jamming. Ask anyone who’s been to a few DMB shows, and they’ll tell you “Two Step” is one of the longer songs you will ever hear (that and “Seek Up”). Let me prove it to you. The longest version of “Two Step” live was 27:34.  The studio version is just north of 6 minutes. That’s a lot of jamming. Sometimes, it’s a little unwarranted, but most of the time (especially recently with Tim and Jeff), it’s awesome. I’ll touch on that more when I start getting into the live album reviews.

Another big difference, is the intro. While it’s quick and instrumental on Crash, live… it’s much more interesting. As of the last few years, Dave often times tells a story. He does it all within that same instrumental intro you hear on the album, but he’ll freestyle over it. You can catch that in the live video I posted above.

On Crash, however, it’s a steady, consistent fade out of the song. Pretty mellow, actually.

To wrap up here (I’ve noticed I don’t like to ramble on as much as I thought I would), “Two Step” is a classic. Most fans, both novice and expert, can agree on that. It’s hard not to be happy when hearing “Two Step,” and that’s definitely a good thing for a band to have in their arsenal.

I hope you enjoy. I know I have, time and time again.

Song Rating: 5/5

Next Song: “Crash Into Me”

Changing Things Up

So I know a lot of you are probably questioning why I take bi-yearly sabbatical from writing on here. Truth is, I just get out of the habit of it sometimes. Hopefully, I start getting into the swing of things again… but who knows.

In any event, I decided to switch up my review format a little. From now on, I will write-up a little personal opinion on the song (why I like it/don’t like it), followed by a link to the songs lyrics. Then… I will give a brief meaning of the song (usually adapted from AntsMarching.org). After that, I will post a YouTube video of the studio and live versions of the song (assuming they are available). So here’s how it will look.

– Personal Opinion/Feelings about song

– Lyrics link

– Song Meaning

– Studio Version Video (if available)

– Live Version Video (if available)

– Total Play Count

– My Album Rank

– Song Break-Down

– Song Rating

 

I started the new format with Crash. It might take a while to re-format all the other songs, but eventually… they will.

Thanks.

Crash, Part I: So Much to Say

I have to say, right off the bat, this is one of my top 10 favorite DMB songs. I have yet to compile the list in its entirety, but I can definitively say this is in the top 10. I’ve always liked it. Since the first time I heard it, until the last time I listened to it (while writing this post). There’s just something about it. Which makes it a perfect track to start an album.

Lyrics

Song Meaning: Trying to do things your own way in life, as opposed to what others expect. Also having so much to say, about so many different things, but not feeling the ability to say them… perhaps about sexuality, politics, religion, etc.

Studio Version:

Live Version:

Total Play Count: 602

Album Ranking: 3/12

In terms of an overall song, “SMTS” is just wonderful. It’s got a great little guitar riff to start things off, with a bit of a hollow sound to it. The music itself, throughout the song, is so evenly balanced, and has such an upbeat, fun vibe to it. It sounds a little redundant, but this song is a snap-shot of the Dave Matthews Band.

Just read these lyrics:

I say my hell is the closet, I’m stuck inside

Can’t see the light.

And my heaven is a nice house in the sky

Got central heating, and I’m alright.

Try to tell me that isn’t clever writing. Go ahead, I dare you. Alright well… you don’t have to, because you might be able to make a case for it, but you wont convince me otherwise.

One of the best parts of this song, is how it slowly builds into itself. It starts off with just Dave rocking it out on the guitar. Then Carter comes blasting in with the drums on “T-t-talk about the weather-er-er”… followed by some killer sax, etc. From there, the song just continues to be awesome. I can’t think of any other way to describe it.

The most distinguishable part of this song, hands down, is the sax. Roi really lays into it with the bass sax. You can feel it wherever or whenever you listen to it. The word “prominent” really comes to mind. Especially when watching/listening to the band live (see: video clip above).

“So Much to Say” is definitely a catchy song. Especially they “so much to say, so much to say” lines. It might also become tired on some people that are waiting outside the Today Show at Rockefeller Center in the misting rain listening to the band play it 6 times in an hour (more to come at some point in the future). But for me, it’s very enjoyable.

I love this song, and I think it’s a perfect way to kick-off the bands second big album. Well done, Mr. Matthews. Well done.

Song Rating: 5/5

Next Song: “Two Step”

Preview: Crash

Following an album like Under the Table and Dreaming is no easy feat, but the Dave Matthews Band certainly proved its dominance with Crash. Technically, it’s the band’s third album, but it feels like the second. For some reason, Remember Two Things is often forgotten as an album, allowing people to believe Under the Table and Dreaming came first. In any event… Crash was released in 1996, promptly 2 years after UTTAD (you’ll soon see a pattern here). After fully embracing this album, it became clear that the Dave Matthews Band was on to something pretty great.

Crash

I mentioned the “Big 3” in the initial UTTAD post. This is the second installment in that collection. Many of the tracks on this album are regarded as fan-favorites, and classics that still receive as much admiration in concert today as any other songs. To avoid repeating myself… let’s get into the track list.

  1. So Much to Say
  2. Two Step
  3. Crash Into Me
  4. Too Much
  5. #41
  6. Say Goodbye
  7. Drive In Drive Out
  8. Let You Down
  9. Lie in Our Graves
  10. Cry Freedom
  11. Tripping Billies
  12. Proudest Monkey

If you know anything about the Dave Matthews Band, you’ll know that those are 12 solid songs. Two of those are HUGE crowd-pleasers to this day, including one that continues to receive chants from eager fans. There are also a few classics in here, including a female-favorite (“Crash Into Me”).

I wont spend too much time now going into details of each song, but I will say… Crash is one of my favorite albums, contains my hands-down favorite DMB song, and really displays the range of the band. From the beginning of the album (with “So Much to Say” and “Two Step” setting a fast-pace start to the album)… to the end (“Proudest Monkey”)… and everything in between (“Let You Down” and “Lie in Our Graves”), this album has it all.

Without further adieu… the long wait is over. I’m back.

Next Song: “So Much to Say”

 

Review: Under the Table and Dreaming

So here is the preview of Under the Table and Dreaming I did before the song reviews came.  

All in all, this is a great album to start off your success with. Yes, it wasn’t their first album they released. It was, however, the most successful of the first two, and it is still considered one of the ‘Big Three’ DMB albums. Can’t argue with that.

Here’s a list of all the songs again, with my ratings next to them.

  1. The Best of What’s Around – 5/5
  2. What Would You Say – 3/5
  3. Satellite – 3/5
  4. Rhyme & Reason – 3.5/5
  5. Typical Situation – 5/5
  6. Dancing Nancies – 4/5
  7. Ants Marching – 5/5
  8. Lover Lay Down – 4/5
  9. Jimi Thing – 4/5
  10. Warehouse – 5.5/5
  11. Pay for What You Get – 4/5
  12. #34 – 3.5/5

Looking back on these reviews, I am still happy with my decisions. I maybe should have bumped “Rhyme & Reason” down to a 3/5 and bumped “Dancing Nancies” up to a 4.5/5. Alas, I will stick to my guns. Just because I gave a song a 4/5 doesn’t mean I dislike it. If you refer back to my rating system, a 4 means I ‘love it,’ which is pretty darn good.

Anyway… all of these ratings combined look something like this.

Under the Table and Dreaming – 49.5/60

I give Under the Table and Dreaming an 82.5, or B- overall. Now, that’s just tallying up the individual song ratings alone. But you have to take an album as a whole. As a whole, UTTAD was a groundbreaking album for the band. It put them on the map and still includes so many hits that so many fans love today. You can’t say anything bad about this album, and it’s incredibly fun to listen to.

Factor in the whole “Big 3” thing, and you have yourself a winner.

Therefore, my overall rating for Under the Table and Dreaming is a 4.5/5

Do you agree? Disagree? Did I rate one song too high? Another too low? Let me know, that’s what the comments are for.

I hope I can get through the next album in a much quicker fashion.

Next Post: Crash Preview

Under the Table and Dreaming, Part XXXIV: #34

“#34” is the last song on Under the Table and Dreaming, even though it’s an instrumental. It also shows up as track number 34. If you watch the cd play in a car or old cd player, the numbers 12-33 will all flash by. Pretty neat.

The song was inspired by and written for Miguel Valdez. He was a friend of the band in the early years, and would often sit in on percussion with him. He passed away in 1993, and DMB held three benefit concerts for him.

The song started out with more of a love tone, but due to its inspiration, it became more of a lament on death (AntsMarching.org). As I said, this is an instrumental and there are no lyrics on the album. It is quite a beautiful song, accompanied by beautiful saxophone harmonies. Lyrics have been added several times, including a special version to celebrate the 34th birthday of Mrs. Dave Matthews (Ashley), but mostly has shown up as an instrumental.

The first video I’m going to show you has the studio version of the song, and it plays behind a video in memory of the late LeRoi Moore. The song has his beautiful saxophone playing, so it was a perfect choice to use for this video.

Here’s the version of the song played in honor of Dave’s wife’s 34th birthday. It’s from the Hollywood Bowl in LA back in 2007. The video quality isn’t great, but you don’t see great music, you hear it.

This is another one of those songs that I have on my ‘relaxation’ mixes, as you can probably understand. It’s a very beautiful (for the 18th time) song, and I nice way to end off the band’s first big album.

Song Review: 3.5/5   (mainly because it’s an instrumental and not much more)

Next Review: “Under the Table and Dreaming” as a whole