19 August 2007

So Much Smoother Than "Smooth"

Wait. Seriously? I like the new Matchbox Twenty song? Because I really loathe Rob Thomas' music. As in, "Smooth" makes me want to kill somebody, and that damn song "Lonely No More" is just so... proud of itself. Being able to use a drum machine doesn't make you cool, Robbo. If it did, we would all be worshiping at the feet of Club Nouveau.

And do not get me started on Matchbox Twenty's earlier music. Yes, I bought their first album, but what was I supposed to do? I was in high school! "Push" and "3 A.M." were always on the radio, and I had disposable income!

(Just so you know, a similar set of circumstances, resulted in my purchase of a Spin Doctors album in the 8th grade. Turns out, little miss was wrong on almost every damn song.)

Generally, I find Matchbox Twenty--or Matchbox 20, or MtchBx20, or whatever variation they're using--to be bloated, self-serious, and absolutely no fun. They're like Live, but without the one really great album.

Given all this antipathy, you can imagine how surprised I was when I was listening to the radio; heard "How Far We've Come," the new Matchbox Twenty single; and didn't hurl anything at the wall. In fact, I bobbed my head. Possibly, I danced a little.

But I can't get past that jangly guitar in the intro, which is sassy like a beach party. Then there's the syncopation in the bridge: The vocal and the drums have a war, and the only victims are my swiveling hips.

More than anything, I like this song because, despite its heavy guitar line and Thomas' standard mumbling, it sounds effortless. It's a short, sharp shock of power-pop that makes Matchbox Twenty sound less like Counting Crows' mopey cousins and more like Fountains of Wayne's crazy next-door neighbors. You know, the ones they call when they want to cook burgers at 4 A.M.

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