"You don't need to prove a thing to me/Just give me faith, make me believe/Come on, save me/Save me Mister walking man if you can/Come on, save me/Save me Mister stranger if you please … or am I too far gone?"
— from "Save Me"
When artists work solo apart from their bands—especially one with a proven track record for more than ten years—it's usually because they have something extremely personal or important to share. Dave Matthews fits the profile. Though eager to record with his best–selling band again soon, it's clear that recent marriage and fatherhood have caused the talented singer/songwriter to look inward. The result is some of Matthews' most personal lyrics yet, which would have been an irregular fit in his band's collaborative writing process. Picking up where Dave Matthews Band's Busted Stuff left off, Some Devil straddles the fence between hope and melancholy, joy and sadness, dark and light. It also finds Matthews once again flirting with faith.
Granted, Matthews has expressed belief in a lot of things over the years. Yes, he regularly writes about sexual relationships—this album's "Stay or Leave" laments a lover's departure after a moment of intimacy. And it's no secret that he's pro–hemp either; in fact, 10% of Some Devil's CD booklet is made of it. But do these things negate Matthews's quest for spiritual truth? Is he perhaps now slowly gravitating to the things that matter most? Both "Gravedigger" and "Too High" are somber reminders that life is short and death is inevitable, with the latter asking us what our legacy will be when our time is up. "Up and Away" is an unabashed love song to his wife, and "Baby" is written for his newborn daughter.
The album's title ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more