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Pop - Released April 19, 2005 | Melisma - Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released April 26, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Rob Thomas opens up Chip Tooth Smile, his fourth solo album, by singing "I'm not afraid of getting older/I'm one less day from dying young." It's not a common sentiment for pop stars, but Rob Thomas isn't a common pop star. Despite the slick reputation he acquired with "Smooth," his blockbuster collaboration with Santana, Thomas has often been concerned with troubling concerns. His gift has been disguising these disquieting moments in a shiny package, usually produced by Matt Serletic. While Thomas continues on this path on Chip Tooth Smile, he parts ways with Serletic for the first time in his 20-year career, opting to work with Butch Walker instead. The change in collaborators does give Thomas a bit of boost, even if it doesn't quite mark a shift in direction. Chip Tooth Smile is filled with stirring power ballads and rousing anthems, songs where Thomas reckons with the worst in him and finds solace in lasting love. With Walker, Thomas relies on bolder colors than he has in the recent past, but there's also an acceptance of the singer/songwriter's middle age; he's not expanding his worldview so much as refining it, attempting to articulate as cleanly and clearly as possible. To that end, Chip Tooth Smile won't win any new fans, but it feels as complete a portrait of Thomas' intent and gifts as possible: his openheartedness is as direct and forceful as the arena-filling anthems they accompany. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released April 12, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released March 29, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released June 22, 2009 | Emblem - Atlantic

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Listening to cradlesong, the second album from Matchbox Twenty singer/songwriter Rob Thomas, it's hard not to think of him as a man out of time, making big music for a world of miniature niches. Thomas makes music as if it was the turn of the millennium, when there were cross-demographic radio formats and stores to goose sales to diamond status, traits that still serve him well when he's constructing sonic skyscrapers, even if the results don't necessarily feel at home in the modern skyline. With its urgent hooks and surging sincerity, cradlesong is recognizably Thomas' work, right down to its lower-case typography, but with the assistance of longtime producer Matt Serletic he's tweaked the formula of his 2005 solo debut Something to Be in judicious ways, using his worldbeat inflections as an underpinning instead of flair, something that ties the album together even when it lends the album a self-conscious sobriety that's a bit oppressive, despite Thomas' enveloping hooks. Still, those hooks go a long way toward opening up a somewhat hermetically sealed album, a record built on careful details in its productions and lyrics, a record constructed with discipline and eager to be taken seriously. 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
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Pop - Released April 19, 2005 | Melisma - Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released August 21, 2015 | Atlantic Records

Returning to solo status after the 2012 Matchbox 20 reunion -- this time, the group didn't go on hiatus; they merely took a break while their singer pursued other projects -- Rob Thomas decided to broaden his horizons on 2015's The Great Unknown by working with a variety of different producers and collaborators this time around. Still on board in an executive producer role is Matt Serletic (the producer who's worked with Thomas for nearly 20 years), and the singer/songwriter also enlists OneRepublic mastermind Ryan Tedder and Jason Derulo/Jessie J producer Ricky Reed to give him a modern pop life. This new blood is notable on The Great Unknown, which is considerably livelier than 2009's contemplative Cradlesong. He hasn't entirely abandoned power ballads -- it's in his blood and it's something he does well, as evidenced by "Paper Dolls" and the spare, piano-anchored closer "Pieces" -- and he retains a fondness for surging, insistent anthems, the kind that fill arenas and airwaves with equal ease. There's a levity here, though, that's often absent on his albums, either on his own or with his band. Who knows what's responsible for the shift? But the lightness is palpable and welcome, whether it surfaces on the cheerfully cheesy come-on "I Think We'd Feel Good Together" or the modulated disco pulse of "Things You Said" and "Trust You," the first single from Thomas since "Smooth" that could qualify as an unabashed party. The good vibes aren't limited to tracks designed to be hits, either: there's also the sunny, skipping "Hold On Forever," the stomping beats of "Wind It Up," the pan-global exuberance of "One Shot," and the digital horn stabs of "Absence of Affection," each adding momentum and cheer to an album that deliberately side-steps many of Thomas' signature moves while still sounding unmistakably like him. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released June 17, 2016 | Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released February 20, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released August 21, 2015 | Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released June 29, 2009 | Emblem - Atlantic

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Dance - Released June 17, 2016 | Big Beat Records

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Dance - Released April 5, 2019 | Atlantic Records

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Pop - Released June 30, 2015 | Emblem - Atlantic

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 20, 2019 | NC-21

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Miscellaneous - Released August 31, 2018 | NC-21

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 26, 2018 | NC-21

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 30, 2018 | NC-21

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 26, 2018 | NC-21

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Miscellaneous - Released February 14, 2019 | NC-21

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