Remember Two Things

Dave Matthews Band

Bama Rags, 1993

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


While most people think of Under The Table And Dreaming as the debut effort from the Dave Matthews Band, they tend to overlook Remember Two Things, an album they released independently the year before. Containing early versions of some of their later hits, it captured Matthews and crew in both studio and live settings, at a stage in their career where they were still honing their craft.

While this disc is not bad technically or in performance, it suffers from one major Achilles’ heel: it’s boring as hell.

It is one thing to hear three songs—“Ants Marching,” “Tripping Billies” and “Satellite”—in formats that are not the same as the versions that became famous just a year or two later. Hearing these, it still suggests that Matthews and crew were tinkering with them to make sure the songs were just right—for example, Boyd Tinsley’s violin solo on “Ants Marching” is not the same as the version recorded for my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Under The Table And Dreaming—but it does show that all of the components for these songs’ successes were there. And to hear an audience that is somewhat appreciative, yet not quite understanding the magnitude of what they were listening to, is an interesting aspect.

Of the remaining seven tracks on this disc, only one—“Christmas Song”—really captures everything that Matthews was capable off, and this one is an acoustic performance. While it doesn’t capture the complete essence of the band, it does showcase the songwriting talents, and proves to be a pleasant enough piece that addresses the holiday season without beating someone over the head with either the religious or the commercial aspects of it. For that alone… well done.

If only the remaining tracks had that kind of power. I can’t say that songs like “One Sweet World,” “Seek Up” or “Recently” are bad—honestly, they’re not. But they don’t have anything that really grabs the listener by the ears to persuade them to pay attention to every single note, relegating them, regrettably, to background music.

That’s really a shame, because Remember Two Things should have been the disc that screamed from the rooftops the power that Dave Matthews Band had, both in songwriting and performance aspects. It shows signs of that greatness, but if this had been the only disc I’d have ever heard from them, and knew nothing else about them, I’d have more than likely written this one off.

Undoubtedly, diehard fans will strongly disagree, and that’s okay. It’s just that, to my ears, Remember Two Things didn’t do enough to suggest that Dave Matthews Band would move on to superstardom, and served as a bit of a half-baked offering of what could have been. If you like it, more power to you. I don’t hate this one, but I can’t see it being in my regular rotation.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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