Matchbox Twenty – Where The Light Grows (Album Review)


Originally known as Matchbox 20, Matchbox Twenty burst onto the Alternative Rock scene with their debut album in 1996. Yourself or Something Like You. Featuring multiple hit singles that topped the charts for two years, the album bridged the gap between the Grunge era that preceded the early decade and the new Alternative Rock brand that followed.

Lead Singer Rob Thomas’ collaboration with Santana on his 1999 hit “Smooth” has only increased the buzz, making them such an ardent commander as we enter the new millennium. making the band’s sophomore album one of the most anticipated albums of 2000, and crazy season It was a much more Pop-oriented album that was solid but experimented with sounds. Switching to an even wider mainstream audience, the band transferred this success to their 2002 album. More Than You Think; which found them changing once again, this time towards a more guitar-focused style. Showing off their diversity, they would take a hiatus in 2004, and it’s been a relatively non-linear story for Matchbox Twenty ever since.

Some might argue that Thomas’ solo career quickly outstripped Matchbox Twenty and therefore put them in the backseat, but they’ve resurfaced here and there over the years. back in 2007 Exile in the Mainstream, a compilation contained six new tracks, to some it still felt like a soft re-entry for the band, so it filled in less than fulfilling a lot of fillers. This will be followed by some tours in 2008 and from 2012 to 2013 (later appropriate full-length North), before another gap until their return to the roads in 2017.

In 2020, which still leaves some fans feeling dissatisfied, the possibility of a new album is further diminished when it is learned that the band just wanted to tour and perhaps release a new song here or there. It’s a move many artists have made, but to be honest, they’re usually only far more prolific, since Matchbox Twenty only had four albums under their belts in over two decades. Somewhat disappointed, to the surprise of many, they changed their minds and returned with a brand new full-length album in 2023.

Something that excited loyal followers for others who may have put the group somewhere behind their memories…it certainly aroused some degree of curiosity. After all, it’s been eleven long years since they’ve released a new album, and as the saying goes, their inconsistent activities are undeniable. So what can fans expect from the new album and will they be disappointed?

official Where the Light GrowsThere are many highlights in the album, which was released on May 26 with the Atlantic Records label. As mentioned, a band that has never been content with just one sound, this record manages to tick a box list for fans. However, if you are looking for something else Yourself or Something Like You, then you have to realize that we’re almost thirty years away from it, and that this kind of sound hasn’t shown any hints of it since parts of Matchbox Twenty. crazy season.

To face this reality Where the Light Grows, is a joint recording, the sound is very modern in some places (“Friends”, “Wild Dogs (Running in War)” and “Hot Blood”), but also very Matchbox Twenty (“Rebels” and “Selling Faith”) in others. This means you get a balance between Alternative Rock tones and modern Pop trends. It’s definitely an album that’s mature, polished, and less raw Alternative Rock, but there are also moments that hit a certain nerve like “I Should Know Better.” However, perhaps one of the most interesting songs out there is the single “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, which is fun, engaging, and very catchy.

In simple terms, Where the Light Grows It could be the last album for any of us from Matchbox Twenty to be here, or at least for a very long time. Putting this into perspective, you have to absorb new songs and appreciate what they have to offer. That’s why Cryptic Rock is giving away Matchbox Twenty’s Where the Light Grows 3.5 stars out of 5.

Matchbox Twenty – Where the Light Grows / Atlantic Records (2023)
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