Sunday, August 12, 2012

#22: Matchbox Twenty - More Than You Think You Are (2002)

More than anything, I find it hard to believe that this album is ten years old. One thing I was really disappointed in was the critics reception of the album. While listening to the album, I was curious if we were listening to the same record... Rob Thomas, the principal songwriter for MB20, does a wonderful job of combining melodies, memorable hooks, powerful word choices, and soulful songwriting into an experience that will stick with you long after the 50 minutes are over.

The lead single off the album, co-written by Mick Jagger. I still remember this song blowing my mind when I first heard it on the radio. I didn't know a new MB20 album was coming out and it was unlike any of their other singles. My favorite part of the whole song is the off beat bell hits during the chorus. What an amazing guitar sound though, and even better lyrics. One of their strongest tracks on the album and the video also is pretty nifty.

Bright Lights
This song is the reason why I want to see MB20 live in concert. I'm prepared to drive. What an uplifting song... It almost has a Journey-esque entrance, at least in terms of "epicness". The verse focuses on the lyrics while the chorus packs a wallop of emotion. The song is just so full of soul, especially on the bridge when Rob Thomas sings, "Let that city take you in, let that city spit out, let that city take you down... God sakes turn around." This is one of the best MB20 tracks across all of their albums, and boy, oh boy do they have a lot of good ones.

Could I Be You
Written by the drummer Paul Doucette, it's probably the best track on the record. I don't know if his subject was Rob Thomas and if he was ever envious of Thomas' success, but that's how I've always listened to the track. Can you imagine writing a song about your jealousy only to have the person who it was written about love the song so much to include it on the album and then sing it every night? Well, at least that's how I've always thought of it. I could be totally off base and I really don't care to know the truth.

Usually I have no problem picking out the three best tracks on the album. However, there's probably nine tracks on this album that's worthy of putting the spotlight on. The musicians in the group are top notch, the lyrics are amazing, and the production is solid. Rob Thomas continues to prove why he's the best songwriter of my generation.

Tomorrow's album: Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool.

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