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Exile On Mainstream
Matchbox Twenty
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Reviewed: 10/2/2007 by Chad

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Matchbox Twenty makes their long awaited return with a new combination studio/best of CD. With the First six tracks on the CD all newly recorded songs, while the other 11 tracks are comprised of the band’s deep catalogue of hit singles. From the six unreleased tracks it’s clear that Matchbox Twenty’s sound has changed and matured over the past ten years. The aptly titled (for a greatest hits collection) “How Far We’ve Come” opens the album, followed by the Beatlesque track “I’ll Believe You When,” a song that finds the band stepping outside their typical boundaries, as does the next track “All Your Reasons,” with its driving chorus, and unique punk influenced melodies. While Rob Thomas’ vocals and lyrics are solid and unmistakable, the band clearly drew from new influences for these tracks. The latter could perhaps be from the influence of Steve Lillywhite who produced the album, a change from the band’s previous albums, which were all produced by Matt Serletic. Perhaps the most radio friendly of the new songs is “These Hard Times,” a ballad that finds Thomas’ honest song writing at its best. Also noteworthy is the upbeat “If I Fall,” that finds the band mixing tempos and layered guitars in a way not heard since they debuted ten years ago. The batch of new songs closes with “Can’t Let You Go,” a piano driven ballad that will remind fans of the band’s song “You Won’t Be Mine”. Even with all the musical growth that Matchbox Twenty shows on these six new tracks, there still remains that common thread that makes this band so appealing to so many people.

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