Rob Thomas releases ‘Timeless’ new solo album
Courtesy of Amazon
Though it’s been four years since fans of Rob Thomas have heard new music from the Matchbox Twenty front man and some may have forgotten about the singer, fans have been reminded of the reason they fell in love with his music with the release of his latest solo album, “Chip Tooth Smile,” on Friday, April 26.
From its title to the subjects of the tracks, “Chip Tooth Smile” is based on Thomas’ own life. The album name comes from Thomas’ own “chipped tooth smile,” which he thought of getting fixed, but his wife convinced him not to.
There’s a heavy ‘80s influence throughout the album. From an album cover that draws inspiration from Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” album art to an entire song devoted to listening to ‘80s music, this is a time capsule of the music of Thomas’ adolescence.
The album kicks off with “One Less Day (Dying Young),” a track which, despite its title, is an upbeat song about living life to the fullest. Thomas talks about how he is getting older and as he does, he is “one less day from dying young.” This song is a reminder that getting older is a privilege that not everyone is afforded. People should enjoy life and not take it for granted.
“Timeless,” Thomas’ song about listening to ‘80s music, comes next. With lyrics like “Free falling to the ground,” “This is a new sensation,” “I’ll be your father figure / I’ll be your major Tom,” there’s a wide variety of references to decades-old classics throughout the entirety of the song.
Thomas doesn’t shy away from any hard-hitting topics on this album, which is most evident on the track “Can’t Help Me Now.” Thomas said in an interview with iHeartRadio that the song is about his wife. Despite the fact that she is usually able to help her husband through his struggles, this time she was having her own difficulties, and he had to figure things out on his own.
Though most of the album features pop songs that fans of Thomas’ solo work and his work with Matchbox Twenty will enjoy, one song falls flat.
“I Love It” is Thomas’ foray into a jazzier, bluesy feel, but unfortunately, it is not successful. It strays far from what fans of Thomas are used to. Sometimes trying new sounds yields good results, but that was not the case for this song.
“The Man to Hold the Water” is another autobiographical song, this time about Thomas’ son and the responsibilities that come with raising a child. It is another emotional song, with lyrics like “Where you go I will follow / Where you are I will be / When you’re lost I will find you / When you fall, fall on me.” With a gentle guitar riff and beautiful lyrics, “The Man to Hold the Water” has a very soft, soothing vibe that almost sounds like it could be a lullaby.
The album closes with “Breathe Out,” a song with a very similar sound and feel to “The Man to Hold the Water.” The lyrics are a reminder that no matter how difficult life may become, keep going and keep breathing: “When all that’s inside you is screaming for rescue / Breathe out again.” It brings the album full circle after the topic of “One Less Day” and is the perfect way to conclude the album.
From upbeat pop tracks to emotional ballads, Thomas truly has something for any listener on this album. “Chip Tooth Smile” is a welcome addition to Thomas’ discography and is something that will hold fans of both Thomas and Matchbox Twenty over until the band potentially releases new music in 2020, as Thomas has recently alluded to.