Yourself or Someone Like You

Artist: Matchbox Twenty
Listenability Scale: 100%
Released by: Atlantic/Lava Records
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Every now and then you hear a band you just can’t seem to get enough of. You play the CD over and over until you think that it’s all you can take, and then you get to see the band live and all of a sudden now you have images to go along with the songs so you play that CD over and over, again. All of a sudden you forget about all of the other bands you liked because this band is it, and wish there were more bands out there like these guys. Well, the latest band that does this for me has these five guys calling themselves matchbox 20, and the CD is called “Yourself or Someone Like You.”

Why matchbox 20? Why “Yourself or Someone Like You?” Well, maybe my listening tastes need something different from the angry, the world hates us, alternative stuff that has been shoved down our throats for the last few years. Maybe I’m tired of trying to figure out what the Eddie Vedder’s of the world are trying to say and am looking for rock and roll with lyrics that are intelligible (has anyone ever really figured out the lyrics to “Yellow Leadbetter” yet?), a band that tosses in some harmonies, a band using more that three chords for a song, and a band that still keeps the energy level that alternative bands have brought to the stage. All of that seems to happen with matchbox 20.

Rob Thomas leads the five guys by handling the lead vocals and most of the songwriting. Filling in the other four of this talented band are Kyle Cook playing one hell of a lead guitar, Adam Gaynor handling rhythm guitar, Brian Yale on bass, and Paul Doucette pounding out the drums.

So that’s the band, what about the CD? Well, “Yourself or Someone Like You” can probably be over-analyzed by the best of them. Many of the lyrics jump right out at you, making you think one thing, but as you look at the entire song you see something entirely different. But then there are the subtle lines that themselves can keep ringing in your ears, lyric lines like “She thinks that happiness is a mat that sits on her doorway” from “3 am.” It’s just different. Without going into therapy figuring out the lyrics, I’ll just say that the CD is remarkably easy to listen to. From the acoustic driven, cool harmonies, and winding down “Hang” to the electric guitar, up-beat, and in your face “Long Day,” this CD will have you drifting calmly at one point and then singing while nearly banging your head a little later.

It’s refreshing hearing a band drawing on the clean-sounding rock and pop that was present in the eighties, but they’ve changed it a notch to keep it fresh and new for the nineties. The only problem, at least in the Chicago radio spectrum I’m stuck in – is that no one seems to play them. And you know, I don’t think it’s because no one likes them, but in all honesty their sound doesn’t fit the stale playlists that are hitting my radio. That’s really too bad because for a change there’s a band that is fresh, mixing clean rock of old with energy of today, and the number three market in the country has yet to recognize them. But me, I found them, and am telling you that if you don’t want to take a chance buying the CD then head to their web site or the Atlantic Records site and check out some of the audio samples. If you’re still not sure, head to your favorite records store and pop the CD in a listening station. I think you just might like the energy, you just might like the musical stylings, and you just will probably head home with the CD.

In all honesty, I can listen to every song on the CD over and over and not skip any of them – and that’s rare. A very cool band, a very cool CD, and here’s hoping you like them too. I won’t do this often, but it’s a 100% for “Yourself or Someone Like You” from matchbox 20 on the Entertainment Ave! listenability scale. It’s good to hear a talented band doing something a little different again, it’s good to hear harmonies and backing vocals again, and it’s good to hear clean intensity for a change. It’s good to hear matchbox 20.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!