Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. What makes Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King the Dave Matthews Band's richest, and quite possibly best, album is the implicit message that all the love and loss can be felt and shared through the music, that the creation of the music itself is the reason why they're here--and that's not just a moving tribute to LeRoi Moore, it's a reason for the band to keep moving on.
  2. Big Whiskey, though, is a lot like a New Orleans funeral parade--mourning and zest balled into big, brawny music.
  3. This eulogy is a celebration, and Big Whiskey is a dense, humid album that, befitting its New Orleans origins, shrewdly cuts its melancholy with exuberance and vice versa.
  4. Matthews finds a skillful balance in his lyrics between off-handed whimsy and deeper reflections, and the others back him with a tighter version of the instrumental interplay that has made them one of the most popular American bands of the past 15 years.
  5. Throughout, the spectre of death rarely recedes, but life--embodied by the proto-DMB revelry of 'Why I Am'--still prevails.
  6. Producer Rob Cavallo, known for sharpening the teeth of Green Day and Avril Lavigne, among others, encouraged Matthews and his colleagues to turn up the juice and make some sharp turns. The shambolic groove that's long been the band's trademark remains, but it's toughened up by foregrounded electric guitars.
  7. While the band takes some sonic risks and shows continued versatility on songs like 'Alligator Pie (Cockadile),' the album is saddled with some of the same leaden production values that have dogged the latter half of the band’s recorded career.
  8. 60
    Although every other verse here is filled by paradiddles, polyrhythms and wilfully complex time signatures, DMB's ear for a tune at least provides us with some fine choruses. [Jul 2009, p.94]
  9. This record will quicken the pulse of no one, but then chin-stroking does require a certain musical mellowness. [Jul 2009, p.127]
  10. Given the musically versatile, vaunted band behind it, Big Whiskey, for all its stylistic reach and array of textures, is frequently beset with a curious bout of blandness.
  11. Produced by Rob Cavallo, Big Whiskey is a step back toward the more polished sound DMB explored on 2001's divisive "Everyday"--that is to say, a step away from the 2005's return-to-form "Stand Up."
  12. As a lyricist, Matthews prospers when he’s being boyish and mischievous, but his earnest bits are mostly unbearable, and Big Whiskey, in keeping with much of the band’s recent output, plays like one big scented candle.
  13. 40
    Too often they sound like Sting fronting Counting Crows. [Jul 2009, p.93]
  14. Steady as she goes on AOR eighth outing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Jan 11, 2014
    Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King was the exception to the rule for me: it got worse every time I re-listened to it. When I first listened to it, I thought it was a great album with only two or three songs that may not be as good as the rest of the album. However, that has flipped, and now I only like three songs on the album (Lying in the Hands of God, Squirm, and You & Me). Still, I cannot say it is a terrible album, but it certainly continues the downward slide of Dave Matthews Band since Crash, which is unfortunate for such a uniquely talented group. Full Review »
  2. Oct 12, 2010
    I liked this album, though not as good as some older stuff never-the-less it achieves relevance for today. songs through out album are pretty good and diverse. Its cool to know that Dave and the crew minus Leroi are still competent in making good music. Its evident that Dave is just doing all that he has ever known, writing and performing art. Full Review »
  3. Sep 7, 2010
    another highly enjoyable album from Dave Matthews Band. this group certainly improves when performing live but this set of songs makes for a nice listen. doesnt really push the envelope much nor does it disappoint Full Review »