Review: Rob Thomas – Something to Be

Breaking away from fronting Matchbox Twenty for a decade, this solo debut unties him from the limits the band’s rock background invoked. Or so Rob Thomas says. And if he says so, it must be true. Though I never had any problems with the 3 albums over the years, evolving nicely from melodious but bare metal setup of Yourself or Someone Like You to the more produced sounding Mad Season to the more experimental More Than You Think You Are. Infusing jazz (the genre I most hate) ? No problem, the result is more satisfying everytime I listen to it. Adding a choir to a rock song ? No problem. Same rule applies. Musically, it has many levels, and with every listen you can focus your ears to another level, making the experience a little bit different. Lyrically, the sentences are poetry with emotional depth. Vocally, it contrast nicely with the rough guitars, adding extra soul to the usual dramatic statements the songs make.
So, can he pull the same trick off another time, on his own, sweating for six months in the studio, with more poppy arrangements ? Yes, definitely. While on some songs you could’ve easily stuck a Matchbox Twenty banner on it, most are as he already told us, breaking away from the traditional sound. You’ll fall in love with them slowly, but in the end, it’s more profound. Again with all the previously mentioned ingredients, if you’re in for something different, this is the album you’ll want to get this year. With all the four albums, there are songs I immediately recognise as non-likably, but the majority are always rock solid, growing on you over time (instead of sudden hits, you’ll forget after a while). If you want lasting power, either try this one, or stick to Matchbox Twenty (as I’m sure they will return some day).8½.

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