Rob Thomas and his work with Matchbox 20 has been consistently exemplary. But as a songwriter, he’s beyond compare. His new solo album The Great Unknown is a superlative work in every way. “Hold On Forever,” “Pieces” and the title track are simply terrific.
“Heaven Help Me” is almost a perfect track and my pick to click from the album.
I sometimes think that the great music writers have been pushed somewhat aside in favor of formulaic, auto-tuned melodies, but Thomas, individually, is keeping that great Brill Building ethic alive.
His work with Carlos Santana, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Marc Anthony, Taylor Hicks, Travis Tritt and Daughtry are superlative. His Smooth triple platinum album with Carlos, is perhaps his zenith.
Thomas in person is a great guy, too. He’s amazingly approachable, engaged and full of energy.
I remember years back when he was tagged as the perfect writing partner for teen sensation Debbie Gibson. Amazingly, all these years later, I still think they could still be a formidable combo.
Still, it’s all about the songs. The Matchbox 20 hit, “This Is How a Heart Breaks” went gold in the United States, and landed i the top 50 in Australia back in 2005. The fact that the song sounds as current today is a testament to his work.
The great songs are still remembered and guys like Thomas are keeping the song-writing tradition alive.
Matt Serletic produced almost all of his memorable work, as well as his terrific 2009 album Cradlesong. He’s present again on Rob’s latest set, alongs with Ryan Tedder. But Serletic’s work shines above all.
Hands down, a great album. Bravo Rob!
NAMES IN THE NEWS
Randy Alexander, Donnie Kehr, Micky & Donna Dolenz, Tom & Lisa Cuddy, Victor Kastel, Keith Girard, Mark Bego, Van Dean, Havasi, Colleen Brennan, Jacqueline Boyd, Brad Balfour, Steev Walter, Ryan Slater, Ingersol, Jerry Lembo, Isabella Moner, Steve Walter, Derek Storm, Aubrey Reuben, Chip