Everyday caused quite a bit of consternation within the Dave Matthews Band fan base. The presence of Glen Ballard as a producer felt like a sellout move to some of DMB’s more hardcore faithful. Ballard, whose resume boasted a co-writing credit on Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” and co-production on Wilson Phillips’ self-titled debut and Alanis Morissette’s gargantuan Jagged Little Pill, did admittedly slick down some of DMB’s rougher edges. And the songs were noticeably more economical, too.
While I certainly noticed Everyday‘s sound as something slicker than DMB’s previous work, I enjoyed (and still enjoy) most of the album. The title track is a spirited sermon about the power of love, maybe a little less oblique but also not straying far away from the typical subject matter of a Dave song. “Everyday” found its way seamlessly into set lists from post-2001 DMB shows, and the band was occasionally joined by Vusi Mahlasela, the South African singer who performs additional vocals on the album track.
Ultimately, “Everyday” sticks out most for me because of 9/11. Dave made the song a focal point of his repertoire following the disaster, and released “Everyday” as the album’s third single towards the end of the year. The video features a young Judah Friedlander (later to become famous as a member of 30 Rock‘s ensemble cast) walking around NYC hugging people. I got caught in the feel-good energy of the song and video, and it helped get me through the first real “what the fuck is going on?” world event of my life. That alone should get it five stars, never mind the fact that the song is actually good.