Matchbox Twenty

More Than You Think You Are

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The best proof that Matchbox Twenty is not the Rob Thomas project? Their third album, More Than You Think You Are. If this was simply the work of Thomas, this album would likely be more like their very fine second album, a savvy mainstream pop record that casually displayed his songwriting skills and was casually eclectic. This? This sounds like the effort of a band who not only wants to rock again, but feels compelled to rock again, to prove that they are indeed a band. Perhaps this would have worked if they had either a strong set of songs or a sinewy, persuasive production. They have neither. The songs lack hooks, as if melody would be too commercial, while the production has its sights on the radio, resulting in tuneless songs that are polished for mainstream consumption. It's a weird miscalculation, a regression to the faceless post-alternative rock of their debut. It's a shame, really -- as the years since Yourself or Someone Like You have proven, no matter how disparaged they were in 1996, they did this post-alternative mainstream rock thing better than many bands, because they didn't hesitate to embrace the mainstream. Here, they try for credibility and lose the very things that proved their strengths in the past.

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