Saturday, October 13, 2012

#84: Rob Thomas – Something to Be (2005)

This album is much more pop centered than his days with Matchbox Twenty. It’s full of sounds and instruments you’d never hear on his Matchbox records, but the result is the same – it’s still a Rob Thomas sound. Rob’s soulful vocals and incredible songwriting are the centerpiece of his debut album.

This is How a Heart Breaks
The album goes right for the jugular on the first track. Big percussion and a small piano allow Rob Thomas to venture through the jungle to arrive at his first huge pop hook. Even the bridge is well crafted, the piano allows Thomas to almost rap over the top of it, but the big hook is the simple yet incredibly effective guitar solo back to the solo. It may be pop but it rocks.

I Am an Illusion
Coolest opening of any track on the album. It’s just vocals and drums, and it has nothing to do with what’s about to happen – yet it fits. The music is super solid with the horn hits, the bondish bass, and the deep harmonies. Yet it’s Thomas’ vocals that carry the track, he makes it really work. “I’m not real anymore, I am an illusion.”

Street Corner Symphony
It’s John Mayer and Rob Thomas on the same track – how could it not be good? Mayer lays down the blues over the top of big horns and the best feel good track on the album. Actually, it’s the best track on the album. The chorus is full of uplifting lyrics, but it’s the music that provides me with chills. Also, what a guitar solo… Mayer is the man. If Thomas and Mayer recorded an album together I think I’d explode.

All in all, the album is full of incredibly well written tracks. If the recording doesn’t move you then I’m sure it could be rerecorded in a different style to make it more appealing. It’s got a little bit of everything from the pop spectrum. Thomas is without a doubt my generation’s best songwriter and his debut album reflects that. The only complaint I have is that while the music was excellent, it didn’t push any boundaries nor did it push the listener to accept more than what’s already acceptable – not that it should – it’s absolutely beautiful for exactly what it is.

Tomorrow's album: Jacques Brel's Olympia 64.

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