davematthewsDAVE MATTHEWS BAND – ‘Away From The World’
Imagine the scene: it’s summer, you’re in the back garden relaxing with your new girl/boyfriend, knocking back a few drinks and those all too rare British sun rays are beating down.  It’s almost the perfect day, but something is missing… Away From The World.  Album number eight from this genre-fusing outfit formed in Charlottesville, Virginia back in ’91, carries laid back jazz-jams and grooves that perfectly captures the mood of those hot ‘n’ hazy summer days.  Taking us on a romantic guitar, sax and trumpet fuelled odyssey, through dancy groove jams like ‘Broken Things’ and ‘Belly Belly Nice’ to the smoochy ballads of ‘Mercy’ and ‘Sweet’ – Metallica this is not and there’s not one sharp edge on this album you might call dangerous.  Dave’s voice soothes like an indulgent massage with soft hands and warm stones, mirrored by guitar solos that glide up and down the middle range of the fretboard with ease and aplomb.  Aside from the mulit-instrumentation and ever present acoustic, it’s the songwriting that impresses most of all.  With Steve Lillywhite twoddling the knobs, to create such an eclectic and modern mix after well over 20 years of writing and touring is un-surprising, but made all the more impressive when your consider bands from the same era that have ultimately fallen deep into a monotonous pit, surrounded by a distinct lack of ideas.  Dave Matthews has stayed distinctly relevant and manages to stride over that pit, 90’s influences still in tow, with 54 minutes of wonderfully played, acutely catchy songs to soundtrack any summer.  It’s time to take advantage, pour a sweet one and drift away, before it clouds over.  (8)




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