Some Devil

some devil13 years, 12 albums, thousands of shows, millions of fans, and most recently, one big move. With the release of his first solo album, "Some Devil," Dave Matthews, front man of the incomparable Dave Matthews Band has decided to try something different. Giving a little wave to his fabulous four band mates, Matthews and guitar instead invited a barrage of other renowned musicians to help put "Some Devil" together. Tim Reynolds, long time friend and touring partner of the band; Trey Anastasio, beatnik front man of the force that is Phish; and Brady Blade, world famous drummer and percussionist are only a few of the many that lend their skills to the songs on "Some Devil." Matthews has undoubtedly produced a record of solid quality, unable to disappoint even the most intoxicated of frat hopping fans.

The product of some down time in Seattle, "Some Devil" does not even come close to DMB's intense funk jams, cathartic slow jams, and the signature DMB jams in general. "Some Devil" is moody but beautiful, intense but light, and clearly establishes itself as an entity completely separate from the band. On the entirely fulfilling 13 tracks, Matthews croons about love and death sounding smoother than he ever has. He pulls heartstrings on songs like (title track) "Some Devil," he gets fierce with "Gravedigger" (also the first single), and emits a playful smoothness on "Save Me" where he sings, "How 'bout you take a ride with me / We could kill some time / Shoot the breeze." Anytime Dave, anytime.

Although much of "Some Devil" deals with death, the record is musically far from dark. Matthews has pulled off a perfect mix of intense moody rockers ("Gravedigger," "Too High") and light melodic tunes ("Oh," "Baby," "Up and Away"). With the former you find yourself in a fierce sing along, hands attempting to imitate drumbeats and powerful string arrangements. The latter induce gentle grooving and lots of smiling. One of Matthew's most impressive lyrical talents is the fact that he can make anything sound poetic. On "Oh" he sings, "I love you of so well / Like a kid loves candy and fresh snow." And on Gravedigger he incorporates a bit of ring around the rosy. The beauty of it all is that it works...and sounds damn good.

"Some Devil" hails as an enjoyable and quality creation from a man that heads one of the most intense musical forces on the planet. Dave Matthews, it seems, cannot disappoint...even if he tried. For those that have begun to fear a breaking of the band, solo albums unfortunately do induce that speculation, fear not. The beauty of the Dave Matthews Band is that they are tight, and Matthews has made it clear that Some Devil has made him ready and anxious to get back in the studio with his band mates. Bring it on, boys.

Alicia Gregory is a 17-year-old music and writing child who hails from southern New Jersey. She enjoys art, the written word, melody, and concerts. Currently a junior at Southern Regional High School, Alicia hopes to one day major in publishing and eventually write for a living.

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