Don't be fooled into thinking the content of this album is very different from what Rob Thomas did while fronting the rock band Matchbox Twenty. ...Something to be differs musically, but it's about the same stuff.
In his attempt to depart from his rock roots, Rob breaks away from his old rock sound: "If I just made another rock record with two guitarists, a drummer and base player it would be redundant", he said on his website.
His distinctive voice and writing style cannot be hidden beneath the façade of alternative instruments. Rob puts the listener smack in the middle of a story only he understands, just as he did with the songs he wrote for Matchbox Twenty.
From the Justin Timberlake-sounding "Lonely No More" and the teen-pop radio-friendly "This is how the heart breaks" to the folk rock "Problem Girl", Rob's attempt to move his career into a whole new direction is obvious. Although not nearly as good, "Streetcorner Symphony" is reminiscent of the Grammy winning "Smooth" his hit collaboration with Carlos Santana. Backed by a varied and impressive session band that includes John Meyer on guitar, Dr. Dre bassist Mike Elizondo and the use of spirited horns and a choir for background vocals, this solo debut has a hints of Latin, funk and urban pop..
Overall, ...Something To Be shows Rob Thomas to be a talented and flexible songwriter, but his move away from rock in a "pop star" direction may not appeal fans from Matchbox Twenty days.
- Ashlin Simpson
WHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID
Even Matchbox-ish numbers like "Ever the same" sound fresh in this new context. Underestimate Thomas at your own peril. (Star rating: 3/5)- David Wild for Rolling Stone
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