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Asher
19-11-2002, 20:45:05
:bounce:

Today the third Matchbox Twenty album was released, titled "More Than You Think You Are" and it's the best album I've heard in a while. It is a resurgence of a more stripped down song because the previous album, Mad Season, had so much going on at once in the songs with so many instruments that it was nearly impossible to perform live. Thus, More Than You Think You Are is more of a rock-album than the last (which had about half of the songs backed up by an Orchestra).

Tracklisting and comment:

1. Feel -- Hardest MB20 song I've ever heard, not that that's saying much. :) A driving rocker.
2. Disease -- "Cowritten" with Mick Jagger (Mick did the 2nd verse), it's the lead-off single which is climbing the charts.
3. Bright Lights -- Sounds kinda like classic Elton John. An emotional song that would also sound great if it was only vocals + piano, as how they plan to do it in concert.
4. Unwell -- I love the lyrics for this song. Great melodies, kinda hypnotic and captivating. The beginning of the song and the end of the song have a Sitar(?) which is really fitting, since it sounds so weird but so...nice. :)
5. Cold -- Another harder song with great beats and melodies again.
6. All I Need -- This sounds like a cross between The Beatles and Roy Orbison. I absolutely love the bridge in this song and the buildup of the chorus.
7. Hand Me Down -- A slower song, with powerful vocals and lyrics and kind of puts me into a trance when listening to it (in a good way!).
8. Could I Be You -- The only song on the album not written by Rob Thomas, this was penned by drummer Paul Doucette.
9. Downfall -- It starts off as a 70s Rock song, and in the end a large choir complete with clapping joins in. It was really caught off guard at first but I really love this song.
10. Soul -- Toned down rocksong, great melodies and beats.
11. You're So Real -- My favorite song on the album. It's hard for me to sit still when listening to it, and about 2:15 into it the song does a complete 180. Woo!
12. The Difference -- Very laid back song. Great!
Hidden Track: So Sad, So Lonely -- One of the weirder songs I've ever heard from MB20. I like it, like it a lot though. I wanna almost say it's a Swing/Punk/Grunge crossover? Hell I don't know.

Anyway: My Verdict: A perfect album. I couldn't have asked for more. It's a rock n' roll album that a rock n' roll album should be, not what "rock" artists today have turned it into (I'm talkin to Creed, Lifehouse, and all that crap).

The only "real" review I could find right now is from the NY Post:
November 19, 2002 -- MATCHBOX TWENTY
"More Than You Think You Are"
Atlantic Records

Layered with snappy guitar work, whopping drums and Rob Thomas' friendly vocals, "More Than You Think You Are" is a rock 'n' roll album that shows depth and maturity without getting stuffy.

By song No. 2, "Disease," MB20 is at full power, working riffs with a Latin beat that tips its hat to Carlos Santana.

Musically, MB20 seems to be enjoying this opportunity to rock out, but they also dabble in country, pop and even '50s R&B.

Considering the titles on this album - Take "Disease," "Unwell," "So Sad, So Lonely" - it's shocking how bright a disc this is. It brims with optimism.

The entire album (except for the last track, So Sad So Lonely) can be streamed for free from the VH1 website if anyone cares: http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/matchbox_twenty/328073/album.jhtml

Asher
19-11-2002, 21:06:58
Hey, a real review (http://www.undercover.com.au/urmatchboxtwentymorethanyouthinkyouare.html):

1996 seems like such a long time ago. That was the year we first heard a song called 'Push'. The band was Matchbox Twenty. Based on that one song and the first listen to the album, I don't think anyone, especially the band, suspected a Roller Coaster ride was about to begin.

It certainly didn't happen overnight. That first album 'Yourself Or Someone Like You' took more than a year to gather momentum. It took a year to sell its first million. Twelve months later it was at 5 million. Another 12 months on, three years after release it passed 10 million earning the title the coveted and rarely award Diamond classification. It has now sold 12 million albums in the USA alone. That makes it one of the 30 biggest selling albums of all time in America.

So, it is now 2002 and the "difficult 3rd album" 'More Than You Think You Are" has arrived. I say difficult, because sometimes when you are too close to something it is difficult to get a perspective of the 'real world' (sorry if that phrase is now your copyright Rob). Let's just say Matchbox Twenty have sealed their longevity with this record.

'More Than You Think You Are' is a tight, concise package that modernises the sound of the band without bastardising their feel. Ooh, what an appropriate link to the first track 'Feel'. Matchbox have evolved their sound. 'Feel' is tougher than we have been used to on previous records. It's a powerful, electric beginning announcing their return with some soulful backing vocals from R'n'B's Cheryl Pepsi Riley.

'Disease', you already know. That is the single and first offering from the album. Legend has it Rob Thomas wrote it for Mick Jagger. Jagger gets a co-writing credit but his presence isn't obvious anywhere near the song. 'Disease' is only rock and roll, but I like it.

It is not until we get to 'Bright Lights' where the band start to show another shade and that colour is blue. This borders on a being a country ballad complete with pedal steel. Hey, all that unprotected exposure to Willie Nelson had to pay off somewhere.

'Unwell' contains my favourite lyric "I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell". Who is the subject of that line? Adam, I'm looking in your direction :. 'Unwell' has to be a shortlist for a single. It has all the right ingredients for radio. It crosses the various formats, has the hook and a clever line.

Producer Matt Serletic gets a credit on 'Cold'. We are back to a song driven by guitar, another potential single maybe, but hey, with this record, the choice of single can be done by spinning a bottle.

I'd really like to hear this album performed live. It has a live feel from beginning to end. There's a little country rock in "All I Need" with another drop dead catchy Rob Thomas hook.

'Hand Me Down' is another ballad, and might I add, they hit you like rest stops on this rock based record. Drummer Paul Douchette wrote the next ballad 'Could I Be You'. Don't run screaming, this isn't like Ringo on a Beatles record, Paul's work with the Matchbox men backing and the Rob Thomas voice gives another dimension to the Matchbox sound.

'Downfall' has a driving rhythm. It's another co-write with Serletic that beefs up the tempo after our last couple of slow dances. It has a cast of thousands on backing vocals with sopranos, altos and tenors forming what I guess is the Matchbox Choir. "Be my savior and I'll be your downfall" sings Thomas. Is this gospel for the unconverted?

Keeping it on a gospel level we have a song called 'Soul' next. It was written by Rob, Paul and Kyle and features the New York Gang Vocal Choir. This one is more soul in lyric than sound with the voices coming in late to build up the song. I can't imagine they'll be taking all those voices on the road. Hey, what a great opportunity for the audience to fill-in in concert.

'You're So Real' is a Rob song and features an almost rap like vocal at the start before that instant signature Matchbox hook sinks back in.

'The Difference' and that lyric 'slow dancing on the Boulevard' … am I hearing a little Jackson Browne influence creeping in here? For that matter, The USA produced many albums in the 70s that stood the test of time where every song was a winner. Jackson Browne and The Eagles epitomised and drove West Coast Rock. I'd like to say Matchbox are the new wave of East Coast Rock, but they seem to have the market to themselves.

'More Than You Think You Are' kindles an old American tradition. It is a rock solid record from start to finish.

Oh wait, did we say finish? Sorry, for a bit of fun keep it playing for the hidden track 'So Sad So Lonely'. This is a great party track and guys if you are looking for an encore song, this would sure end the show on a high. Who's voice is doing that "this is lame" bit at the end. What the hell would he know! In Australia, there's even another song after the bonus track. 'Disease' is done acoustic with just Rob on guitar.

Sean
20-11-2002, 02:39:17
Does the guy who you linked dislike anything? He likes Craig David, he likes Matchbox Twenty, he likes Richard Ashcroft, he likes Blue, he likes Nirvana, he likes Christina Aguilera, he likes The Datsuns, he likes Sigur Rós (or does he? That was one half-assed review—not that ( ) is easy to review, but still, he could have at least mentioned the live performances and the genius of the tracks at the beginning and the end and the wonderful lullaby-type bit in track 5 and…you get the message. Having said that, most of the reviews were crap).

I gave You’re So Real a listen from that site. It’s alright, fairly listenable, and it goes along at a reasonable pace until it performs a rather tired change in speed, reaffirming my belief that Matchbox Twenty will never, ever be brilliant, merely average. It reminds me of the time I saw the guy from Counting Crows interviewed and he was going on and on and on about how they made sure everything was perfect for this new album, then played a song from it and it was completely uninspired, albeit nice enough to listen to.

Asher
20-11-2002, 03:18:03
Originally posted by Sean
Does the guy who you linked dislike anything?
I reckon it's a lot like this site, and he reviews albums he buys because he expects he'll like them to begin with.

Asher
20-11-2002, 03:19:17
And I maintain that "You Won't Be Mine" is a brilliant MB20 piece. :D Although it's probably way too slow for the crowd here from what I gather...

Funkodrom
20-11-2002, 10:30:05
Slow?

Dunno about that. What I heard of them before was OK but a bit middle of the road and boring.

PosterBoy
20-11-2002, 10:51:04
As long as it's better than the second album. That was a real let down

Sean
20-11-2002, 13:39:32
Also, I really doubt you could out-slow me.

Asher
20-11-2002, 16:52:49
Originally posted by PosterBoy
As long as it's better than the second album. That was a real let down
The 2nd album was a lot different from the first, which is what I think they needed. If you do the same kind of sound over and over again people will become less interested.

The first album was a great rock album (IMO of course).
The second album was more of a ballad-album where they experimented with a ton of things (horns, string sections, orchestras, very weird vocals, etc).

I still prefer the first album to the second but the second album really grew on me. The "rockier" songs on it don't do much for me these days, but the slower songs near the end of the disc I still very much like: Bed of Lies, Leave, You Won't Be Mine.

You Won't Be Mine, btw, is just incredible live. :)

*End Is Forever*
20-11-2002, 18:35:27
:gotit:

Asher, why don't you write your own "proper" review and submit it to this site then, rather than link to someone else's...?

:gotit:

Provost Harrison
20-11-2002, 20:22:18
Now that is a capital idea :idea:

I am going to try my hand at this reviewing lark at some point, but as soon as I put finger to key, I get writer's block :mad:

Matchbox 20, yeah, very exciting or something...

Asher
21-11-2002, 00:18:38
Do I look like I'm in the social sciences to you, Iain?

Asher
21-11-2002, 00:21:29
My reviews would be more like this (each category having a binary system of "Good" or "Bad"):

Lyrics: Good
Melodies: Good
Beats: Good
Performance: Good
Overall: Good

Sean
21-11-2002, 00:47:51
OK, I downloaded You Won’t Be Mine. It’s crap, and his voice is damn irritating.

Asher
21-11-2002, 00:59:06
Lies! It is brilliant.

The ambient rainy streets sound, the 68-piece orchestra, the lone piano and the heartbroken voice. It's one of the most atmospheric songs I've ever heard.

And I happen to really like his voice. Perhaps it grows on you. :)

Sean
21-11-2002, 01:07:45
Heartbroken voice? I must have missed that bit; the singer sounds like he doesn’t have the balls to really lay himself on the line. The rainy streets sound is so unbelievably cynical that it makes the whole thing sound like the soundtrack to some trashy but well-shot American TV series, with all the schmaltz that entails. The orchestra may be a 68-piece one, but it adds another layer of insincerity, that’s all. I stand by my Counting Crows comment.

Asher
21-11-2002, 01:08:51
Different strokes for different folks. :)

Sean
21-11-2002, 01:10:14
:).