DAVE MATTHEWS BAND — COME TOMORROW

Rating: 3.8/5
Release date: June 8, 2018

Dave Matthews Band — the current band consists of Dave Matthews, drummer Carter Beauford, saxophonist Jeff Coffin, trumpeter Rashawn Ross, and bassist Stefan Lessard, and keyboardist Buddy Strong is joining the band for the 2018 tour — has come a long way from their debut 1993 album, Remember Two Things, which clocked in at an hour and 12 minutes with only 12 songs. Come Tomorrow, still a typical Dave album musically, has 14 tracks, but is a more manageable 54 minutes.

The songs on Come Tomorrow fall, more or less into three categories: the album starts out with jam band firecrackers that are rife with texture; it moves into less full tracks in major keys that exhibit Dave’s passion for life; and slower ballads are mixed in throughout.

“Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” and “Can’t Stop,” the first two tunes, start the album off with those firecracker moments; it’s easy to picture the band onstage, just rocking out. The third track, “Here On Out,” is a sweet and gentle love ballad, but track four, “That Girl Is You,” is the standout from the first third of the album.

On “That Girl Is You,” Dave croons in such a way that he sounds like a dying bird singing the most beautiful song it’s ever sang. He strives for every note, but not in a trying-too-hard way — just because that’s Dave.

“She,” the next track, follows stead with “That Girl Is You” in that these are the darkest, heaviest tracks on the record. Dave sounds his best at his basest animal instincts, which I why I take issue with the next section of the record:

“Virginia in the Rain,” “Again and Again,” and, especially, “Blue and Black Bird” and “Do You Remember” ride at a higher level on consciousness than “She” and “That Girl.” They’re well put together tracks, but there isn’t that same animalistic urge present in the other songs. Creepy Dave over everything.

But, on the penultimate and title track (which features harmonies from Brandi Carlile), we get back to the basest form of Dave Matthews Band’s composition. It’s guttural and meaningful; it makes you stop and listen. At first, it was disappointing that this wasn’t the final track, but, much like OneRepublic’s penultimate “Marching On” and final “Lullaby” on Waking Up, “Come Tomorrow” tells the final story:

All the girls and boys will sing

Come tomorrow we get everything

So as long as we survive today

Come tomorrow we gonna find a way

Yeah, as far as I can see

We should let the children lead the way

and “When I’m Weary” gives the resolution; it’s the palate cleanser, the after-dinner mint.

There’ll be dark, dark days

More are coming

Just as sure as this

Sweet earth beneath my feet

It don’t matter

Come tomorrow

Together we must face

What lies ahead

At his core, Dave Matthews is a wonderful musician, but also an amazing poet and lyricist. He captures the human condition in a way that’s hopeful, honest, and cynical all at the same time, and that’s why people flock to the band. Come Tomorrow might not be their best album to date, but it is, inconsequentially and unapologetically, for better or worse, Dave Matthews.

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