The first thing you notice about the debut single from Dave Matthews Band’s new album Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King is that it’s more like the live DMB of recent years rather than the studio DMB of Stand Up or Everyday. This is definitely not a bad thing, as Dave Matthews himself said that they wanted their studio material to be as interesting as their live shows. And from this first single, their new album could well be.
It’s instantly recognisable as a Dave Matthews Band song, and everything that represents, while being pop enough (thanks to Tim Reynolds’ guitarwork) for radio, and not too saccharine to alienate those who dismiss everything since ‘You Never Know’.
One thing that is really surprising about ‘Funny the Way It Is’ is that there is a full-on guitar solo. Not just the usual Dave Matthews riffs, instead a full-blown guitar solo. I’m not sure whether this is Dave or Tim Reynolds, but either way, it’s fantastic.
‘Funny the Way it Is’ is (is is) lyrically sturdy, but also features those Dave-isms: “Sirens pass in fire engine red / Someone’s house is burning down on a day like this”. The chorus is immediately memorable, and no doubt the crowd will be already singing along to every word at the song’s first live performance tonight (I would assume it’ll be played live tonight).