Review: Jack Foley
HAVING achieved considerable success as lead singer of Matchbox
20, one of America's most successful rock bands of the past decade,
Rob Thomas has decided to venture into solo territory to challenge
his own boundaries.
The result is something as accomplished as you might expect from
someone who was also responsible for writing and singing on Santana's
multiple Grammy-winning hit, Smooth, in 1999.
Yet as good as it is in places, the album doesn't really sound
as brave or defiant as it thinks it is, seldom straying from the
sort of sound that helped Matchbox 20 achieve such success.
Opening track, This Is How A Heart Breaks, maybe an
upbeat introduction, but it sounds fairly generic and isn't anything
While ballads such as Now Comest The Night and When
The Heartache Ends come across as a little over-earnest,
no doubt inspired by his time working with the likes of Mick Jagger
and Bernie Taupin.
The album is much better when it doesn't take itself seriously,
as in the sassy funk of debut single, Lonely No More,
which could easily double as a Ricky Martin number.
The brooding I Am An Illusion features a great bassline
and some angry sentiments that find Thomas at his most feisty,
while the lyrics of Ever The Same clearly emerged from
the singer's period of personal struggle and provide a fascinating
insight into the difficulties he faced.
Better still, is the atmospheric All That I Am, which
slow-builds into an epic anthem for the singer, complete with
some Eastern rhythms, orchestral drums and haunting backing vocals
from Greater Anointing.
It is quickly followed by the breezy Problem Girl, which
follows some terrific guitar work and one of the more catchy choruses.
Fans of the distinct vocals of Thomas will no doubt embrace the
singer's new material but while Something To Be certainly
contains its fair share of highlights, there's plenty of scope
to develop further as an artist in his own right.
You can probably pick the singles off this one.