Five years after their previous release and now one bandmate, multi-platinum rock stars Matchbox Twenty have come out with.a greatest hits album? For fans who already own their three flawless LPs, disc two of Exile On Mainstream is completely unnecessary, as it contains 11 of the band’s chart-toppers. Disc one, however, is a totally new and musically dissimilar six-track EP.
Matchbox Twenty is not the band it used to be. The bitter truth of Yourself Or Someone Like You has turned into simple musing, and the heavy and jarring riffs of More Than You Think You Are have become smooth and lulling. While the single “How Far We’ve Come” is indisputably infectious and has been pervading radio waves and VH1 for months, something about it just sounds different. Maybe they address this in “These Hard Times” where Rob Thomas sings, “There’s something missing/You never feel it but you, you’re gonna feel it when it’s gone.”
Exile On Mainstream is an album for those die-hard Matchbox Twenty fans who have been waiting impatiently for this reunion. The singles on disc two are simply classics, but listeners looking for the next “3 AM” should a wave a depressed goodbye to this fair attempt.
Hilary Saunders may be contacted at email@example.com.