Rob Thomas Has Some New Lullabyes Up His Sleeve

noah | June 30, 2009 10:00 am

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to cradlesong, the second solo album by Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas: • “But—who’d have thunk it?—Thomas in 2009 is mostly very good company, a welcome presence long after what one would assume was his sell-by date. He’s not unaware that he’s a bit of a man out of time. ‘Guess I’m past my prime…/I’m overrated,’ he sings in ‘Wonderful.’ He’s only half-right, though. Past his prime—perhaps. But, if anything, underrated.” [Jody Rosen, Rolling Stone] • “This dogged sense of purpose does result in a tighter, better record than Something To Be and even it’s not a lot of fun, it’s not meant to be: it’s big music about big issues, even inflating personal issues to the universal. If it seems somewhat out of step with its year, that almost makes Thomas’ somber, determined craft admirable–he’s doing this not because it’ll give him a hit but because he believes in it.” [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide] • “The disc bogs down a bit in its final stages, stretched out by just-OK tunes ‘Snowblind,’ ‘Wonderful’ and even the title track. He closes, though, with the acoustic strains of Getting Late, a plea that sweetly captures—much like cradlesong’s best tunes—Thomas’ balance of life and love.” [Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle] • “Thomas hasn’t hit a higher bar than usual on the new disc, but neither does he mar his record for pleasing competence. The slickness of his style insures that Thomas will never bore below the surface of a song. The question is: does everyone have to?” [Jim Farber, New York Daily News]