In 2005, Rob Thomas – lead singer and songwriter of the band Matchbox Twenty – released his first solo album, called …Something to Be, which obtained quite some success in the USA, despite going virtually unnoticed in Brazil. Four years later, on June 30th, 2009, his second individual work came out, under the title of Cradlesong.
There’s no reason to doubt Thomas’ talent as a composer, and Cradlesong just confirms that. It’s a CD that can easily be listened to from beginning to end, and fans of the musician or of Matchbox Twenty will probably enjoy all tracks. The main problem is exactly that: Cradlesong is just more Rob Thomas. Even though they’re good, most songs sound familiar. This album lacks the touch of boldness which characterized …Something to Be and made it stand on its own feet, rather than as a “solo Matchbox Twenty record”.
The three first tracks, Her Diamonds, Gasoline and Give me the Meltdown – this last one, by the way, is the best on the CD by far – give the impression that this is a top-of-the-line CD. But those are essentially the best there is. One that can be added to this group is track 6, Real World ’09 – which, paradoxically takes its name from a MB20 song but is one the songs most distinguished from the band’s sound. After Real World ’09, nothing really stands out.
Pros: it’s Rob Thomas, and that means good quality rock ‘n roll.
Cons: most of what you’ll hear has been done before, more brilliantly. By Thomas himself.
Verdict: if you like this kind of rock, listen to this record; if you like MB20 and Rob Thomas, buy it (like I did). You’ll prefer to listen to …Something to Be, but you’ll find pleasure in visiting Cradlesong from time to time.
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