The String Quartet Tribute to Matchbox Twenty splits its nine tracks evenly between the pop-alternative group's two hit albums, 1996's Yourself or Someone Like You and 2000's Mad Season. Here, the band's songs are performed as instrumental chamber arrangements on violin, viola, cello, and bass. The collection's liner notes insist that the quartet evokes "rich emotion" and suggests "the poignant adventure of true love." This might be an overstatement. Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas' soulful rasp has always elevated the band beyond its mostly bland instrumentation. That said, without Thomas' radio-tested croon, representative tracks like "Push" and "Leave" become pleasant, if unmemorable chamber pieces. "3 AM" is really the only Matchbox track that effectively translates into the chamber format without losing the resonance of the original.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus