“More Than You Think You Are” isn’t

Elissa Vallano

In 1996, Matchbox Twenty’s album “Yourself or Someone Like You” went platinum 11 times. In 2000, their follow-up LP “Mad Season” was certified platinum two times. Where does Matchbox Twenty go from here? After the retreat of the pop invasion (Backstreet Boys, ’N Sync and Britney Spears all seem to have gone into hiding), it was time for Matchbox Twenty to return with a new CD, aptly titled “More Than You Think You Are.” You have probably caught the band’s new single “Disease,” which has been launched into massive airplay on all of the major radio stations. If this single is anything like its others, you will be hearing it over and over again for about six years. Even though the new song didn’t exactly whip me into a hurried frenzy to go out and buy the new album, anyone who is familiar with Matchbox Twenty’s music knows not to judge its album by the singles that are released — the best music is hidden behind the Top 40 hits.

“More Than You Think You Are” is comprised of 12 tracks showcasing the band’s rock ‘n’ roll roots and unparalleled enthusiasm. Rob Thomas (vocals), Kyle Cook (lead guitar/background vocals), Adam Gaynor (rhythm guitar/background vocals), Brian Yale (bass) and Paul Doucette (drums, percussion) do not take themselves or their success too seriously. Their down-to-earth nature is revealed in their music, which tends to be the most alluring quality the band possesses. “Mad Season” didn’t leave my CD player for months because it was a masterful collection of angry rock and emotional ballads, but “More Than You Think You Are” lacks the bursting anguish and crippling pain that their previous albums contain.

Just about every song is filled with the classic energy Matchbox Twenty is known for, but the album is missing its usual raw emotion. Most say Rob Thomas can get too whiny and depressing, but don’t we all? The best part of Matchbox Twenty’s music is that when you have a bad day or a tough week, you can pop in the CD and just unwind. “More Than You Think You Are” lacks that certain healing quality that audiences were touched by before with “Yourself or Someone Like You” and “Mad Season.”

For those who are not Matchbox Twenty fans, I would suggest buying the first and second LPs before buying this one. “More Than You Think You Are” does not showcase the band’s best work. For those who are Matchbox Twenty fans, you might have come to expect more from them and could be disappointed. There were several tracks I enjoyed, but it lacked the consistent flow of good music we come to expect from Matchbox Twenty. I would not suggest spending your own money on it, but it will probably make a good Christmas gift that you can always return.