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Something to Be

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
As frontman of Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas proved himself a pop tunesmith whose songs, including the hit "Push," were crowd-pleasing if not always memorable. But his solo debut, the surprisingly ambitious Something to Be, showcases the most confident Thomas since his breakthrough, "Smooth" with Carlos Santana. Fans of Matchbox's straightforward guitar-rock won't find a lot of it here -- aside from "Ever the Same" -- but the slinkier, more soulful replacement parts are every bit as appealing. The disc has no shortage of simple, catchy tracks -- like the Latin-tinged "Lonely No More" -- that come decked out in crisply pressed settings. Thomas kicks the intensity up a few...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
As frontman of Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas proved himself a pop tunesmith whose songs, including the hit "Push," were crowd-pleasing if not always memorable. But his solo debut, the surprisingly ambitious Something to Be, showcases the most confident Thomas since his breakthrough, "Smooth" with Carlos Santana. Fans of Matchbox's straightforward guitar-rock won't find a lot of it here -- aside from "Ever the Same" -- but the slinkier, more soulful replacement parts are every bit as appealing. The disc has no shortage of simple, catchy tracks -- like the Latin-tinged "Lonely No More" -- that come decked out in crisply pressed settings. Thomas kicks the intensity up a few notches on tracks such as "I Am an Illusion," which uses a vintage Bessie Smith sample as its hook and a Robert Randolph lap steel turn to complete the reel-in process. The title track is similarly up-tempo, with Thomas getting in touch with his inner Joe Cocker, but Something to Be doesn't ignore the singer's way with a power ballad, as evidenced by the intimate "When the Heartache Ends." To his credit, Thomas has found a way to stretch his boundaries without pushing fans to work too hard to keep up -- which makes Something to Be something to hear.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Since Matchbox Twenty is a faceless group, recognizable for its hits rather than its image, it's easy to assume that the band is nothing more than a solo project in disguise for its frontman, lead singer and chief songwriter Rob Thomas who should not be confused with Rob Thomas, the creator of UPN's 2005 cult TV series Veronica Mars. Not only is he prominent in the band's videos and press, but he scored the biggest hit of his career with "Smooth," a song he penned and sung for Santana's 1999 comeback, Supernatural. Even though Matchbox Twenty's 1996 debut, Yourself or Someone Like You, was a big hit and spawned four radio hits, "Smooth" was bigger than any of them, making Thomas famous, if not exactly a star. Instead of striking out for a solo career in 2000, he returned to his band, releasing Mad Season that year and More Than You Think You Are two years later. While both records had different moods -- the former was polished and radio-ready, the latter hit a little harder -- both found Thomas working as part of a unit, not as a flashy frontman. This may have illustrated how Matchbox Twenty worked as a band; in particular, More Than You Think You Are sounded like the work of a driven, cohesive unit, even the songs weren't quite up to snuff -- but they also had to sound a little workmanlike, and certainly not the product of the savvy cross-cultural crossover creator of "Smooth." Given the relatively lackluster reception of More Than You Think You Are, the timing was right for Thomas to launch his official solo career in the spring of 2005. It was time to give his music a new coat of paint, similar to how "Smooth" spun his career in a different direction, and that's exactly what his solo debut, Something to Be, is: a slick new variation on Thomas' signature sound. With its anthemic choruses and achingly sincere sentiments, Something to Be is clearly the work of the lead singer/songwriter of Matchbox Twenty, yet it lacks the lean rock-oriented sound of the group's albums, even if it is helmed by Matt Serletic, who has produced all three of the band's records. Serletic and Thomas have made a conscious attempt to have this solo album feel lighter, brighter, and a little hipper than Matchbox Twenty's music, adding slight drum loops and electronic elements to the rhythms while taking Thomas away from strictly guitar-based arrangements. Heavy on keyboards, elastic guitars, horns, insistent rhythms, and even the occasional gospel-inspired backing chorus or worldbeat inflection, this is a far splashier affair than the average Matchbox Twenty album, and that alone would make Something to Be a noteworthy solo record, since it is indeed a different beast than Thomas' regular gig, but the fresher sound is married to a strong set of songs that play to his strengths as a craftsman of big, anthemic post-alternative mainstream rock. This isn't edgy work by any means -- and for as hooky and chorus-driven as it is, it's music that becomes memorable through repeated plays, never quite catching hold upon the first listen -- but it's more colorful and well-constructed than a lot of contemporary mainstream rock in the mid-2000s, and it's arguably more appealing than Matchbox Twenty's earnest guitar rock, which can occasionally seem rather drab. With Something to Be, Thomas delivers an album that is at once familiar and fresh. It may not be something to win over the doubters, but it's enough to give him a promising new beginning to the second decade of his recording career, not unlike how "Smooth" helped propel him through the post-grunge fallout of the new millennium. [Something to Be is one of the first albums to be released solely as a DualDisc -- a disc that contains a CD of the album on one side and a DVD of the album with extras on the second side. The DVD contains a 5.1 mix of the album, lyrics for the 12 songs these lyrics are also printed in the album's booklet, a link to Thomas' website, a plug for his charity Sidewalk Angels Foundation, a photo gallery containing nine photos, and a 20-minute making-of-the-album documentary that contains footage of Thomas writing, Thomas singing a lead vocal, John Mayer recording his cameo, and, finally, a photo shoot with Thomas.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/1/2011
  • Label: Imports
  • UPC: 075679343420
  • Catalog Number: 928050
  • Sales rank: 241,577

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 This Is How a Heart Breaks (3:50)
  2. 2 Lonely No More (3:47)
  3. 3 Ever the Same (4:16)
  4. 4 I Am an Illusion (4:53)
  5. 5 When the Heartache Ends (2:51)
  6. 6 Something to Be (4:31)
  7. 7 All That I Am (4:28)
  8. 8 Problem Girl (3:55)
  9. 9 Fallin' to Pieces (4:11)
  10. 10 My, My, My (4:18)
  11. 11 Streetcorner Symphony (4:09)
  12. 12 Now Comes the Night (4:55)
Disc 2
  1. 1 This Is How a Heart Breaks
  2. 2 Lonely No More
  3. 3 Ever the Same
  4. 4 I Am an Illusion
  5. 5 When the Heartache Ends
  6. 6 Something to Be
  7. 7 All That I Am
  8. 8 Problem Girl
  9. 9 Fallin' to Pieces
  10. 10 My, My, My
  11. 11 Streetcorner Symphony
  12. 12 Now Comes the Night
  13. 13 Documentary
  14. 14 Photo Gallery
  15. 15 Lyrics
  16. 16 Extras
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rob Thomas Primary Artist, Piano
Anita Ellis Background Vocals
Mike Campbell Guitar, Soloist
Harley Allen Background Vocals
Pat Enright Background Vocals
Brandon Fields Saxophone
Gordon Gottlieb Marimbas, Bells
Gary Grant Trumpet
Jonathan Haas Marimbas, Bells
Benjamin Herman Marimbas, Bells
Jerry Hey Trumpet
Hassan Isikkut Kanoon
Frank London shofar
Wendy Melvoin Guitar
Joe Passaro Marimbas, Bells
Jeff Trott Guitar
Dan Tyminski Background Vocals
Matt Serletic Keyboards, Background Vocals
Mike Elizondo Bass
Gerald Heyward Drums
Kyle Cook Guitar
Dan Willis Duduk
John Mayer Guitar
Reginald Young Trombone
Robert Randolph Lap Steel Guitar
Matt Beck Background Vocals
Kevin Kadish Guitar
Eric Poland Marimbas, Bells
Greater Anointing Background Vocals
Heitor Teixeira Pereira Guitar
Technical Credits
Craig Anderson Authoring
Spencer Chrislu Director
Jimmy Douglass Engineer
Jerry Hey Horn Arrangements
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Jay Newland Engineer
John O'Brien Programming
Gary Paczosa Engineer
David Thoener Engineer
Rob Thomas Composer
Norman Moore Art Direction
Ria Lewerke Art Direction
Mark Dobson Engineer, Digital Editing
Matt Serletic Composer, Producer
David Dieckmann Authoring
Jan Smith Vocal Coach
Greg Collins Engineer
Henrik Jonback Composer
Gillian Grisman Director, Producer
Pontus Winnberg Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    If you like Matchbox 20 you will like this album!

    You can say without a doubt that Rob Thomas was the heart of Matchbox 20 because even though this is his solo album, it doesn't differ all that much from his previous ones which he did with the group. "This is how a heart breaks" is a very upbeat and full of guitar riffs song which fits Matchbox's style. You can say the same about the soft and addressed to female audience for its content "Problem girl". The songs that make Rob to stand out from his Matchbox 20 style are "All that I am" for it's exotic melodies that make you feel like you've been taken on a magical journey to the Middle East or Asia and "Ever the same". The title track "Something to be" is definitely a song that shouldn't go unnoticed. But the two songs that make the album extra special are "Streetcorner symphony" for its groovy melody that makes you smile and dance (plus if you watch TV and like "Grey's anatomy" you definitely couldn't skip hearing that song) and "Now comes the night" which is an extremely touchy piano-only song that can make you squeeze a tear or two because it treats about the love that lasts all life until dying day. All songs of the album are special and add to its greatness. I very much recommend it without any hesitation to every music lover!!! It's simply a must-have!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Rob Thomas is awesome

    This CD has blown me away. I love every song!!! They are all different in so many ways. I love his voice, his lyrics and the music. I can't enough of his CD, I am wearing it out. I hope he continues to make wonderful music in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    i saw a squirell yesterday

    this cd is good. i like it. i also like squirells. they are cute. and cudley. i saw one yesterday. it was fun to look at it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Something To Be is a Good Thing to Hear

    I've been a fan of Matchbox 20 ever since Mad Season came out. I was thrilled to see Rob Thomas spread his wings with Carlos Santana on "Smooth". Imagine my surpirse when I heard "Lonely No More" and started liking it. Out of all the of the tracks I have to say my favorite is "This Is How A Heart Breaks" something about the crunchy guitars that just appeals to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    cool cd!

    This is a good cd, but some of the songs I don't really care for. What songs I do like are #'s 1,2,4,6,9,and 11.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great CD

    I love this cd, the song lonely no moe is such a great song, and so are the rest!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WOW - Very Nice!

    This CD will do well. Rob Thomas first came to my attention when a friend of mine told me about him - that he had been in Matchbox 20. When I heard him, I was very interested. I love this guy's gritty voice in When the Heartache Ends. And the sweet sounds of All That I Am and My My My - very nice. I think Street Corner Sym. reminds me of Van Morrison and it makes me want to dance! Love it! This ones a keeper! Anyway, in my opinion, a worthwhile buy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Thomas does it again

    An avid fan of Matchbox Twenty, I had great expectations of this CD, and of course, Thomas far surpassed them all. My favorites are Problem Girl, This Is How A Heart Breaks, My, My, My and All That I Am. I can tell that this CD will be playing non-stop this summer and for a long time afterward.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best

    This album is wonderful. No two songs sound the same. "All That I Am" has such beautiful instruments on it. I love the track "Problem Girl." This album shows how talented Rob Thomas is a singer and songwriter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ehh...

    As a serious fan of Matchbox Twenty, I have 2 copies of the three albums they've released, as well as studio and live albums from Tabitha's Secret, their former band name. With this album, I feel like the band is really needed. The lyrics are standard Rob Thomas quality, but there's a lack in musical quality that I've grown to expect after the last two albums. Thomas' lyrics and the music carried the first album, and the music was really the highlight of later albums. But in this one, Thomas' lyrics don't seem as original, and the music isn't there to back it up. So give it a try if you're a fan, but don't expect anything outstanding or exceeding MB20.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful Album...Not a Rehash of MB20

    First, I'm a huge MB20 fan; however, what has always distinguished MB20 from other MOR rock artists are Rob's lyrics and vocals. And in that context, Rob has exceeded my expectations. I adore this album. I hate to classify music, but if I must, this is not a "rock" album. There are certainly a few songs that rock, "Something To Be," "I Am An Illusion," and "Fallin To Pieces" but many of the other songs vary greatly. I hear a little country, funk, pop-rock, worldbeats. The album is all over the place. There are some gorgeous ballads..."My, My, My," "Ever The Same," and "When The Heartache EndS." My advice, listen to the album clips. If you like diversity in your music, this album is probably for you. If you only want a rehash of MB20's guitar-driven rock, you might want to pass. I give Rob an A+ for thinking beyond MB20. He's a legend in the making which there aren't to many of in today's music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Top notch

    I am a huge Matchbox 20 fan and i was really looking forward to this album. And it is great, all the songs on the album are fantastic and i like the fact that they all have a different feel to them, no two tracks sound the same. Rob Thomas proves that he is one of the greatest singer/songwriters out there today. Unlike many others, his songs sounds real and honest. My favorite track on the album has to be the last track Now comes the night, it is without a dout one the most beautiful songs ever written. I can not recommend this album enough...go buy it..come on...i mean it..buy it now..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I really love this cd! Rob Thomas definetly proves he can handle the solo act was grace & poise! All of the songs have their own meaning and personality! I bought the cd with great expectations and then were definetly exceeded! "Lonely no More", is still my favorite song but it's really hard to choose the second runner up! All of the songs are incredible and the dvd on the opposite side of the disc is really cool too! The dvd has great behind the scenes footage including John Mayer! Buy this CD!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just fantastic!

    I love Matchbox twenty, have every album, played them until I knew almost every word. And now, to hear Rob Thomas in this new capacity is seriously excellent. His voice is so strong, the music is nicely varied, and the cd is my new favorite. It has something for everyone, and there is not one song on there that I didn't love. Just my opinion...but you need to hear him on this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Disappointed Matchbox 20 Fan

    A HUGE fan of Matchbox 20, I couldn't wait for Rob Thomas's solo debut. Unfortunately, I found this cd to be too pop-ish, instead of the richer alternative rock of Matchbox 20. Instead of the clean, powerful sound of drums, guitars, and keyboard that Matchbox 20 had, Something to be was over-crowded with too many other instruments. Though some of the songs on this cd are entertaining and catchy, most of them are just a disappointing mockery of Matchbox 20.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews