Dave Matthews Band
“Funny the Way It Is” (RCA)
At last! Another classic case for confusion of terms, typified in 1996 with Alanis Morissette’s release of “Ironic.” The track, which recounted a series of situational coincidences, misused the term “irony,” leading those with vestment in linguistics to express their distaste. With “Funny the Way It Is,” Dave follows in Morissette’s ill-conceived example, recounting a series of situations meant to resonate as funny. “Funny the way it is/ And if you think about it/ Somebody’s going hungry/ And someone else is eating out,” he sings, leaving us, the listeners, to (of course!) rally around the sheer populist force of his vague-cause music. The point: Everything about this recent track is “funny,” though not in the exhaustively political way Matthews intended it.
3 AM (RELAPSE)
Though the track quickly takes an “American-Psycho”-esque turn lyrically, it’s still got me dancing. A contradiction? When it comes to “Em,” it never is.
Kingdom of Rust (HEAVENLY)
Doves tend to get grouped in with the 10 million other big-sounding arena rock bands with a Morrissey complex. With good reason – up until now, their driving, anthemic indie rock hasn’t really sounded out of place among groups like Franz Ferdinand and the Libertines. Actually, wait – it still doesn’t. The band attempts to add some new textures here, but it all just blends into the slop. They get an A for effort. And a B for boring.