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The Five Worst Dave Matthews Band Songs

Look, Dave Matthews seems like a great guy. I even like him as an actor. But the guy's music bores the living hell out of me. Maybe it's because he's basically a younger version of Jimmy Buffet just playing to a crowd partying with a different substance. Maybe it's because he jams too damn much and caters to the same self-indulgence that infests Phish and Wide Spread Panic. Maybe it's because his audience is made up of folks who mistake Matthews' earnest pop rock for something really transcendent. Either way, when one of Matthews' songs comes on the radio, it's usually an immediate punch out. The lone exception is "Crash," a song that could just about end every romantic comedy in the history of film.

I understand why people like the guy. His band has chops and people find a certain safety in music, a certain womb-like quality that makes them feel all warm and comforted. Much like Neil Diamond did in the '70s, Matthews strains when he steps away from what he does "best." In honor of Matthews performing this Saturday at Gexa Energy Pavilion, this list is the five Dave Matthews songs that really make my skin crawl, tunes that I truly wish were never written.

1. What Would You Say I know, an easy target, the guy's first commercial hit, but from the first annoying moments, this song sucks. Catchy as a case of mononucleosis, the song runs circles around itself as Matthews spews forth lyrics that wouldn't impress my 4th grade teacher.

2. Rapunzel Overly complicated jazz pop that reminds me of what Rush would sound like if they were a folk band. In a word: abysmal.

3. So Right No, so wrong. There's an odd Pearl Jam vibe going on here that's disconcerting. And what's up with the constipated Peter Gabriel style vocals? When Matthews turns away from what he does best - folky, easy to digest pop - the results can be excruciating.

4. Hunger for the Great Light In pop, shooting for some cosmic significance is never a good thing and this over-emotive mess strains under the weight of its own pretentions. Again, the vocals sound like Matthews is taking a class in English conversation and his teacher is demanding that his pupil over-enunciate each word.

5. American Baby This sounds like it was a U2 outtake that Bono tried to bury long ago. There's something vaguely like the Police here as well. Mining cool influences doesn't make you cool. It just makes you sound imitative and weak.

Dave Matthews performs on Saturday, May 17, at Gexa Energy Pavilion.
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