Monday, October 01, 2007

How Far We've Come

Song: How Far We've Come
Artist: Matchbox Twenty
Album: Exile on Mainstream

I was never much of a Matchbox 20 (now ‘twenty’) fan, and found the majority of their singles to be annoying when they were out. The video with the camel in the bowling alley pretty much sums up why I wrote the band off. Ugh. I was, however, caught under the spell of lead singer Rob Thomas’ hit single with Santana, “Smooth” and was also a fan of his first solo single “Lonely No More” which found him throwing in the alt-rock towel and embracing Adult Contemporary Dance Pop. Where did that come from? And better yet… how did he pull it off?

I hadn’t read anything about the bands break-up, er… “hiatus” though it seems fitting enough that Thomas may have wanted to go in a new direction musically than the other guys in the band. So now that Thomas has made a successful solo turn, and came out of the Tom Cruise rumor unscathed, its back to Matchbox Twenty time… sort of.

The band is releasing a very strange collection this month entitled “Exile on Mainstream” which includes a six track disc of new material recently produced by Steve Lillywhite, and then a second disc of all their singles. So it’s a Greatest Hits CD with half a new album. Since they only have three full length albums, this seems a bit premature to me, and only seems to make sense if the band was in fact defunked, but the new material put the wrench in that. Very odd indeed.

And then there is first single “How Far We’ve Come.” The song kicks it like it’s 1998, has a punchy very radio-friendly vibe. I was sort of reminded of Smash Mouth when listening to it… despite it not sounding like Smash Mouth at all. I suppose it just seems very late 90’s Alt-pop to me… and I totally dig it. It’s actually pretty ridiculously catchy, and works its way under your skin after a few spins.

I read that they will be touring again, and I suppose since they’ve been out of the limelight as a full band for almost five years it makes sense for them to get out there and remind everyone who they are (were,) and test out some new tunes to see if they can reclaim their glory. “How Far We’ve Come” is a good start… let’s see now how far they’ll go.


Video for “How Far We’ve Come”

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