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(reviewed by Robert Grazer)
This album is simply one of the very best modern rock albums available. Not perfect, but better than most other modern rock albums I've heard. Watermelon overflows with all sorts of great melodies and songs, and not a whole lot of lyrics. Most of the songs have about ten short lines of lyrics to them, most of which are not all that impressive. At the bottom of each page is a song explanation, and this can range from simply saying something like "A Driving Song" to "Sunbitten is a bird in Brazil. My sister went there for a long time. I missed her." Usually the song lyrics and the meaning have little to do with each other, but I guess that's alright.
We start of with the title track, opened by a neat guitar tone an a nice piece bit on the drums. From there greats like "Strange" and "Getting This Thing To Go" pop up and entertain. My favorite is the second to last song on the album, "Carrousel." It has an even better guitar tone than the opener, and it's so great to hear this main line sung like "Find the wiiiiiiil to gooooooo, FASTER!" Of course the lyrics are very vague in describing the meaning of the song, but that's ok. The super-melodic chorus makes up for any lyrical shortcomings. Finally I shouldn't forget to mention the closing "Superglue," while having the worst lyrics on the album, is musically a tender and lovely ballad, one of the best done in the nineties. It still doesn't come close to a masterpiece like "There Goes The One," though.
I do have a couple of complaints about this album too. First off, the vocal melodies during the choruses of "Brown Paper Bag" and "Sunbitten," besides being too similar, are very weak. "Had enoooough of you, hand enough of you it's truuue" is not the kind of chorus I want. It sounds twice as worse than it looks written, and that's a shame, since the verses in those songs rule. Oh yeah, the name of the album is Watermelon, so why is there a picture of a pumpkin on the front? Is it just me or does that not seem to fit? Anyway overall this is a solid album, one of the highlights of 90s modern rock.
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I absolutly loved this album, and it took quite a while to find it for me, I had head them once in my friends room, and ever since then I'd been searching, and searching, finally I found it used online on ebaY no less, I can't belive it, so I payed, and I think it's probably one of the best albums in my collection.
Driver Eight was an awesome band. Their album Watermelon is my all-time favorite CD. Watermelon, my favorite song ever, starts out rocking pretty hard and slows down just before Matt McCartie starts singing. People sing about love, hate, friends, fears, etc. but nobody else ever sang about watermelons! Next up is the song Polish. A bit harder to follow, but once the swirling beat starts, it's hard forgetting. A very strong song, Cheers, leaves no questions unanswered. Not violent, exactly... more like trying to be civil under anger. Strange is a beautiful tune. It was their first single. The lyrics hardly make any sense, yet this was one of their best. The next song, Getting This Thing To Go, isn't bad, but at this point the listener would probably expect something he or she could clearly relate to. Waiting For Godot is the most fun song here. How can anybody listen to this without singing along? Brown Paper Bag has a great beat, but the lyrics say little. Still the song could make it as a big hit today. It'd probably have a better chance at making its way to the radio today than back when this was released because these types of songs aren't on the radio much anymore. Rap/rock and hard rock has become so much more popular since the mid 90's, and Brown Paper Bag would add so much variety to the radio. Sunbittern is a good song about strawberries, the ocean, airplanes, telegrams, and flying. Somehow it makes perfect sense. Drive, is, naturally a driving song. The rhythm is so catchy. Carrousel has a similar beat to Strange in a few places, which is bad on the same record. Closing this mismatched masterpiece is the song Superglue. It was the first song I learned by heart. It's such a graceful ballad that it begs for a music video, which never happened. It was probably never even considered.Their two singles, Strange and Watermelon, both have music videos which were released to VHS and later to DVD. It can be found on "Tooth & Nail Videography 1993*1999" along with music videos from Driver Eight's labelmates from the 90's.
Driver Eight's label, Tooth & Nail Records, should still have some copies of Watermelon. Information on this band is currently hard-to-find, but any info found is worth the trouble. I'd do anything to find out what happened to this classic band, and then get them back together to play one more show. I think the VH1 producers for the show "Bands Reunited" should've known about this band.
NOTE: Driver Eight was the title of an R.E.M. song. Driver Eight and R.E.M. both had a song titled Strange. Although the songs are vastly different, I wonder if Driver Eight considered R.E.M. their biggest inspiration.
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