Reject The Rejects - I Am A Proud Monkey!
Before writing my review I read through most of the folks that rated this
album one star. Basically, their brilliant analysis of this record amounts to
this stuff is popular so of course it sucks! and these guys arent real
musicians! and Dave cant sing. Okay, if you dont like the singers voice for
any band its difficult or impossible to listen to the band. Personally, I dont
understand the dislike for Daves voice - it is certainly nothing akin to
Geddy Lee or other vocalists that commonly warrant contempt (from
others, not me: I love RUSH and the only vocalist that Ive found I cant
stand is Josh Groban.)
So the other arguments for disliking this record amount to I dislike this
record, DMB sucks!, and anything popular is garbage! - now, perhaps it is
just me, but dont those opinions sound like air-headed, anti-establishment
high school sophomores with a chi p on their shoulder? To me they do. I
know folks that hate anything that gets radio play. Why do they hate music
that gains a visible public following? It seems they carry psychological
scars - perhaps they were in punk bands in their younger years (or sti ll are)
and never made the millions that they now resent being made by bands
like DMB. I can understand that resentment, but it doesnt make DMB bad -
it just makes DMB a symbol for those poorer, emotionally driven non-fans.
It is sad because Dave Matthews *can* be a symbol of what great music
aspires to be. I quit listening to music on the radio perhaps twenty years
ago because there was so much drivel (and commercials.) I discovered
Dave Matthews somewhat by accident and that event was like finding an
oasis in the desert - holy cow, there are still musicians making music with
complexity, real instruments, real voices, and real lyrics! And this was just
before Crash was released. When I first heard Crash I knew that Under
The Table And Dreaming was not just a fluke, that there really was a band
that would be making music for decades to come that would evolve, grow,
change, surprise me, and make me hunger for more.
This is a recording that satisfies from beginning to end. Yes, I love
Proudest Monkey! Every song on this record has something great to offer
and Lie In Our Graves is one of the best songs DMB has ever created.
Yes, live versions of many of these songs are perhaps better or warmer. I
like listening to the studio versions as well as the live versions and hearing
the contrast. If you dont like studio versions, choose otherwise! Pretty
Dave Matthews is not for the individual that rejects what has popularity for
the sake of rejecting what is popular. If that describes you then I might
suggest you avoid learning what is popular (I have no idea what industry
chart numbers DMB records have reached because I choose not to make
myself aware of industry charts) and instead learn to choose what is good
because it is good. I believe that is par t of growing up and thinking for
yourself, ironic though that may sound.
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