It’s Tuesday and, therefore, fartlek day. “Yay” (to be spoken/thought of in a sarcastic tone). Anyway, as has been the custom in the past few weeks I’m keeping with the Dad Rock and rocking out these quick cadence 11k worth of intervals to the ‘Before These Crowded Streets‘ album by the Dave Matthews Band.
This more or less exhausts all the Dave Matthews albums on my CD shelves. It may not be the best album to listen to while suffering through [5 x (4 minutes FAST / 1 minute jog), 2 x (3 minutes FAST / 2 minutes jog)] intervals but, heck, I feel as if I should at least make the whole run of albums in my collection.
This is the 3rd studio album by the band, released on April 28th, 1998. It was the last official album by the group to be produced by longtime producer Steve Lillywhite until 2012’s Away from the World and their first album recorded at The Plant Recording Studios in Sausalito, California. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts after selling 421,000 units in its first week of release knocking the ‘Titanic’ soundtrack from the top spot after a run of 16 consecutive weeks at #1. Sorry, Leo.
As I eluded to before, this probably isn’t the highest energy album to run to. In fact, it’s likely their least accessible record. Where early Dave Matthews albums were devoted to the worldbeat fusions of ‘Graceland‘ (click HERE) and – dare I say it – Sting, but this RCA effort incorporated these influences into a smoother, mushier, more (drab) pop-oriented style. It’s “Dave Matthews-lite”, if you will. There are still some hints of what makes the DMB cool, like the jittery acoustic grooves and jazzy chords, augmented by complex polyrhythms, Mideastern dirges, and on two tracks, the slashing strings of the Kronos Quartet on ‘Halloween‘. But there are some new, darker textures that you might find a little disarming at first. Alanis Morissette guests on two cuts, ‘Spoon‘ and the disc’s first single, ‘Don’t Drink the Water‘, and banjo whiz Bela Fleck sits in, too. So it’s not without it’s charm, for sure.
It’s a good listen for, say, making out with your girlfriend in the back seat of your parents Cavalier, but not while – you know – running.
Now whether or not this imminent schmoopiness and “stay with me”, “baby, please don’t go” bullshit affected my run, or maybe it was all the leftover Chinese food from our Mothers Day feast still coursing through my intestines, I’m not sure. But what I do know is that I didn’t exactly ‘Crush‘ it…if you’ll pardon my expression. This is evident in my sad 5:51min/km as opposed to the previous 5:29min/km I sustained the last time I did these exact same intervals. Oh, and I covered 250m less ground as well. I know I can’t exactly dominate in every workout but it’s still a bit disappointing nonetheless. The real victory today was in not packing it in early as I kept negotiating with myself over and over again in my head and, instead, persevering and gettin’ er done.
In other words, it may not have been pretty, but it got done.