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Album Review

The Dave Matthews Band decided to team up with a very different producer for Stand Up — Mark Batson, who earned his reputation with modern R&B and hip-hop records by the likes of India Arie, Joe, Beyoncé, and Seal. This doesn't result in an extreme makeover but instead puts a gentle gloss on the band's sound that renders it sleek and muted. Batson produces the DMB as he would any other record — by keeping the mixes relatively spare and open, cutting up the rhythms in the computer, and polishing it all so it glistens. It's much warmer than Glen Ballard's makeover on 2001's Everyday, even if some of the cuts here appear to be pieced together in the studio. Matthews pulls away from the introspection of both Busted Stuff and Some Devil, occasionally reviving the humor that spiked his earlier work. The resulting album may not be to everybody's taste — some fans will surely miss the loose jams that characterized DMB's '90s work — but it is an intriguing change of pace for the group.


Formed: 1991 in Charlottesville, VA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in the early '90s by South African vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews, the Dave Matthews Band presented a more pop-oriented version of the Grateful Dead crossed with elements of jazz, funk, and the worldbeat explorations of Paul Simon and Sting. Matthews populated the group with several Virginia-based musicians -- bassist Stefan Lessard, saxophonist Leroi Moore, violinist Boyd Tinsley, drummer Carter Beauford, and short-lived keyboardist Peter Griesar -- and the band built up a strong word-of-mouth...
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