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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Before These Crowded Streets

Dave Matthews Band

1998

Before These Crowded Streets
Album Summary

This album has been submitted by a user and is not included in any edition of the book.

Before These Crowded Streets is the third studio album by American band Dave Matthews Band. It was released on April 28, 1998, through RCA Records. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, his last collaboration with the group until 2012's Away from the World. Recording took place at The Plant Recording Studios in Sausalito, California and Electric Lady Studios in New York. Taking its title from a line in "The Dreaming Tree", the album marked a shift in the band's sound, having darker themes and textures and more complex arrangements. Certain songs see the band apply polyrhythms and Middle-Eastern scales. Numerous guests are featured on the album, including Béla Fleck, Alanis Morissette and the Kronos Quartet. Additionally, guitarist Tim Reynolds guests on every track; he would later join the band as a full-time member. Lyrically, the album tackles both personal and socio-political themes, such as war in "The Last Stop" and the slaughter of Native Americans in "Don't Drink the Water". Before These Crowded Streets was a critical and commercial success. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, selling 421,000 units in its first week of release and knocking the Titanic soundtrack from the top of the chart after a run of 16 consecutive weeks at number one. Three singles were released from the album—"Don't Drink the Water", "Stay (Wasting Time)", and "Crush"—all of which received varying levels of commercial success.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.97

Votes

74

Genres

  • Rock
  • Jazz

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Reviews

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Thu Aug 31 2023
4

DMB is a band I’ve known OF for years, but I’ve never actually listened to. I’ve always shied away from the “jam band” term, and I know it’s groovy-funky-music-nerd stuff. Boy I wish I hadn’t, lol. This is borderline fantastic. It IS super-pretentious conservatorium fodder, but it’s also got a sweet 90s groove that I really like. It’s a product of its time in a distinct way, like if Pearl Jam if Toto was the main influence rather than Aerosmith. This will definitely go in my “background music on long drives” playlist. 4/5.

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Mon Mar 25 2024
4

I think this album has all the elements that make DMB's music so instantly recognizable. It showcases his ability to write catchy songs, incorporating different musical styles while making it sound effortless. Nice one!

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Sat Feb 24 2024
5

ca me rappelle tellement de bon souvenirs 4.95

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Wed Mar 13 2024
5

Dave Matthews Band WAS Midwest US college music in the late 90s. Great addition to the list. Thanks for suggesting.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
4

Surprisingly good, although I'd say it definitely is bloated. I can see why Dave Matthews live might be more interesting.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
4

After years and years of hearing about Dave Matthews Band while knowing NOTHING about them, finally time to take my first step! And... it's jazz fusion? Huh. Honestly wasn't expecting that. Good stuff though. Manages a very commercial jazz fusion/alt rock sound while still being very, VERY excellently played. Carter Beauford alone honestly brings this to 4 stars. Hold up they even got Bela Fleck in this? Wild.

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Sat Mar 16 2024
4

Never heard of DMB before but very impressed!

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Fri Jan 19 2024
3

I haven't actually listened to much of this group, aside from the singles that hit true cultural saturation. I always felt the purist hate Matthew's sometimes attracted was unnecessary, though I will allow the particular affectation of his vocal style wears very thin for me at length. This went wierder and darker than Id have expected, both to its benefit.

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Tue Jan 30 2024
3

DMB is a group I have a very cursory experience with. I feel like they sort of get shit on by folks but I don’t find it that bad. If can see why some people really like it. Honestly it always sounds to me like a bunch of real good musicians that are having a blast playing together and I can always get behind that, although it personally doesn’t do much for me.

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Tue Jan 30 2024
3

I didn't get my driver's license until I was 27 years old. Because of this I had to depend on a lot of other people for rides anywhere/everywhere I went - a lot of people with a wide variety of music tastes. This was mostly when I was a teenager in the 90s, before I moved to smaller college towns where I could get around without a car. It goes without saying Dave Matthews was quite popular at that time, and I had many people giving me rides who were fans. By this point I was shuffling my way towards being a hipster, and shying away from most mainstream music on my own time. So, I never owned any Dave Matthews CDs or anything, but I ended up listening to him quite a bit. I'll tell you, most of those people who were fans, were some of the nicest, more generous people I knew at the time. I know Dave Matthews is the butt of many jokes for some reason, but I don't find his music any great pain to listen to. It's not the feel good jam band fluff the internet might have you believe. At least not on this album. In fact I'd say it's pretty out there, challenging even, for what was a multi-platinum Billboard chart topper. Just listen to "Halloween" for example - it's unhinged. Or, better yet, just to show you how much DMB I listened to back in the day, listen to the live version of "Halloween" from the "Recently" EP. Besides a handful of standout tracks, I can't say I love this, but I don't think it deserves the shit talking it gets from my hipster peers. This album certainly brings me right back to the CD era - secret tracks and all.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
3

His real fans call him Dave. Liked this a lot more than I thought I would! Not ready to buy one of those dancer stickers and put it on my Suburu, though.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
3

If you liked Dave before you will like this, if you don’t like Dave you won’t like this

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Fri Mar 01 2024
3

Rather toothless as fusion goes, the album certainly has a sense of humor about itself. The length feels less annoying and more silly. Before These Crowded Streets is worth considering and unlikely to convince.

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Fri Mar 08 2024
3

I was kind of into Dave Matthews back in the day. I even saw them on their Under the Table and Dreaming tour. Listening to this album I can see why I liked them. They are clearly great musicians who play well together, and the songs and arrangements are strong. If I'm being honest though, it's just a bit bland, and it goes on too long. 3 stars.

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Sun Mar 10 2024
3

Some intelligent pop for once. Mathews’s interesting voice makes listening to vocals tolerable. His voice is another instrument. The poetry is goofy but the musicianship is excellent. Three stars

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Tue Mar 12 2024
3

I never have like Dave, however, his band is stellar and they jam out like none other.

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Mon Mar 25 2024
3

A band I know by name and some hits, but I never heared an entire album of them. And it felt a little strange because I thought of Dave Matthews as an alternative guitarpop band, but this album is more than meets the eye with a lot of other musical influences. I got really into this.

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Tue Feb 06 2024
2

“On August 8, 2004, a tour bus belonging to the Dave Matthews Band dumped an estimated 800 pounds (360 kg) of human waste from the bus's blackwater tank through the Kinzie Street Bridge in Chicago onto an open top passenger sightseeing boat sailing in the Chicago River below.” Which means this album isn’t the only pile of shit that came from the DMB. 4/10

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Tue Feb 06 2024
2

3/10. Y'all's reviews got my hopes up. Disliked the singing, the lyricism was hit or miss (with a tendency towards miss), the instrumentals just felt a bit stiff and lifeless to me, and then it just takes itself so seriously with the long-running songs. And then the 70 minute runtime was gratuitous, but that's the 90s for ya. I thought the dreaming tree was okay, maybe because Stockholm syndrome had set in at that point, or maybe because my mind was wandering for the first half of it so it didn't feel as long.

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Sat Feb 24 2024
2

Interesting sound but not my taste

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Wed Mar 06 2024
2

I know they are big in the USA. Never understood why

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Tue May 14 2024
1

Ugh I really was hoping to avoid listening to any Dave Matthews Band. But here we are. I did not care for the album and I do not care for DMB. It is entirely way to long and it is just annoying. It is not the worst on the list, but I will round down.

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