Among Dave Matthews' charms, quality has never been chief. He traffics in standard-issue folk-pop that occasionally gets confused with something greater--mainly because Matthews, like Sting, has learned that by adding the vaguest suggestion of world music or jazz, he can receive full credit for their influence. His singing style substitutes clenched teeth for emotion, and his vocals often sound as if they were recorded live from the seat of a toilet. That Matthews has become the most successful product of college-rock's early-'90s granola underground testifies mostly to his savvy: He knows that workmanlike pop trumps workmanlike improv any day, and his records have reflected a growing... More >>>