ISSUE #8 FEB 06

Chris

Rob Thomas
"Something To Be"

13th June 2005
reviewer: Chris
rating: 4 out of 5
published by: Atlantic
released: 30th May 2005
  1. This Is How A Heart Breaks
  2. Lonely No More
  3. Ever the Same
  4. I Am An Illusion
  5. When the Heartache Ends
  6. Something to Be
  7. All That I Am
  8. Problem Girl
  9. Fallin‘ To Pieces
  10. My My My
  11. Streetcorner Symphony
  12. Now Comes the Night

Mainstream music is not cool, no matter how good it is. Musical snobs everywhere will tell you that, and unfortunately they are right. Cool is owning the latest album from an obscure Swedish group who have produced their music in a hammock, using nothing but a tree stump as an instrument. With that in mind, Rob Thomas never was, nor will he ever be cool. If you are looking for cool, get a tree stump.

In the US Thomas is known for creating a string of radio friendly hits with his band Matchbox Twenty. In the UK he is best known as “that bloke who sang with Santana on ‘Smooth’”, a song he also co-wrote. For musical snobs the mere mention of Thomas’s name is enough to send them into a blind rage (an event that has happened to me). Something To Be will not change any opinions of Thomas, which is either a blessing or a curse.

Something To Be isn’t just a cash in on Thomas’s Matchbox Twenty fanbase as this is an album full of variety. ‘This Is How A Heart Breaks’ is a catchy rocker with Gerald Heyward pounding away on the drums. ‘Streetcorner Symphony’ is a funk infused summer anthem with a distinctive John Mayer on guitar. ‘Problem Girl’ is a gorgeous track leaning towards folk rock, and the title track ‘Something To Be’ is a riff filled, hip-hop influenced pleasure.

Overall Something To Be is everything it should be; a perfectly crafted slice of mainstream music. Thomas knows how to write perfect mainstream music, which is no bad thing. The only question, having fully confirmed his pedigree as a mainstream songwriter, is where does he go from here?