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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grower - much better than its first impression
My immediate thoughts on listening to this album were that it's not as bad as reviews are saying and, even when it's 'poppy', it's still clearly better than much of the current mainstream music. The reason for this is there was no obvious stand out moment: YOSLY was full of great moments such as Hang, Kody and Back To Good; Mad Season had Bed of Lies and Rest Stop,...
Published on 17 Sep 2012 by Warnerbroz

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh not the best
Not as good as the older albums, but a nice easy listen, problem is they peaked too early! One for the real fans.
Published 10 months ago by Matt


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grower - much better than its first impression, 17 Sep 2012
This review is from: North (Audio CD)
My immediate thoughts on listening to this album were that it's not as bad as reviews are saying and, even when it's 'poppy', it's still clearly better than much of the current mainstream music. The reason for this is there was no obvious stand out moment: YOSLY was full of great moments such as Hang, Kody and Back To Good; Mad Season had Bed of Lies and Rest Stop, whilst MTYTYA's Unwell sticks in the memory long after first hearing it. This aside though, the album was still solid, with lyrics remaining strong and Rob Thomas' vocals as good as ever. 2 weeks in, I'm much more impressed.

This was probably a 3* album on first listen, but now, 2 weeks and many listens after release, it's easily 4*. The more you listen, the more you hear. Paul's drumming really drives a number of the songs along (not unlike on How Far We've Come) and Kyle's guitar playing is more mature, with some great riffs and subtleties which you don't pick up on first time around. It's also an album which sounds better louder, which is a good sign for upcoming tours, as this was clearly created for the live show.

There's no denying that there is more of an obvious underlying happiness to the album, and maybe this is being mistaken for 'rubbish', but there's more to this album if you give it time. I think people need to accept that Yourself Or Someone Like You was very much the Rob Thomas show after Tabitha's Secret (with 3am being from Don't Play With Matches),reflecting on travelling, growing up and tough times, whilst this is an album by a tight group of friends entering their forties, who are quite happy with life. There's nothing wrong with that and I'm enjoying it for exactly what it is. Consider this, if Rob Thomas can write a song about his mothers cancer and make it sound upbeat (3AM), then an album reflecting on lighter subject matter was always going to sound like this. It's not the classic MB20 CD you'll reach for in 5 years time, but you also won't skip it if it shuffles onto your iPod unexpectedly.

If your a fan, give this the time it deserves and then make your judgement. Stand outs for me are Parade, The Way (Kyle Cook vocals) and Sleeping at The Wheel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, but wonderful all the same!, 15 Sep 2012
This review is from: North (Audio CD)
It's been 10 long years since Matchbox Twenty released More Than You Think You Are, which in my opinion was their best album of all. For life-long fans of Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty, this is a wonderful collection of beautiful and catchy rock/pop songs. However, in the last ten years, their sound has moved quite dramatically from their rock roots to a more pop sound. Fans of their very earliest albums (Mad Season, Yourself or Someone Like You) may be somewhat disappointed with this new album. For those who've followed Rob Thomas' solo career over the last few years, you will find the album similar to that of his solo albums and the extra new tracks on Exile of Mainstream, their greatest hits album.

With Matchbox Twenty being one of my all time favourite bands, I love this album and will probably love anything that MB20/Rob Thomas release. There are some stunning tracks here that probably won't end up as singles, but are hauntingly beautiful all the same and are the most like the Matchbox Twenty older fans know and love. Songs like She's So Mean and Put Your Hands Up are the furthest from the traditional Matchbox sound and more comparable to that of Maroon 5 and other current pop acts.

It's a very mixed bag of songs but if you're a die-hard MB20 fan, you'll probably love everything on the album. Baring in mind that Matchbox Twenty's first album was released in 1996, it's understandable that in that time, music has changed and so have they. Their older albums are still the better of their discography but North is still deserving of a place in fan's hearts. If you're buying North as an existing MB20 fan, it'll likely never live up to their past albums, but I'd much rather have North after 10 years than no album at all!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give It Chance, 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: North [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
After ten years since their last proper album, many people would have wondered whether North could really compare to what in my opinion was their best album, More Than You Think You Are.

So is North any good? Well after a first listen to the album I think many Matchbox Twenty fans will feel disappointed. It is not that this is a bad album it is just that it is so different to previous efforts and reminded me in parts of Rob Thomas' first solo album Something To Be.

The album start starts with three great songs (Parade, She's So Mean, and Overjoyed), which are typical Matchbox Twenty sounding songs with a twist; the anger seems to have gone although it could be argued that to stay angry for sixteen years is a bit too much to believe.

From there on the album shifts to a more modern style of music which like I said will throw fans. Indeed it took me a few listens to the album to really start to love it which I think many people will not give it the chance which is sad because then you start to realise its endearing qualities.

Here are songs of not taking life for granted, songs of yearning, heartbreak and even one that tiptoes around Alzheimers disease. This is an album which shows how happy the band is and you can feel it in the music but it is a shame that it's more Mad Season than More Than You Think You Are or Yourself Or Someone Like You in that it's too pop and not enough rock.

In nutshell, I found this to be great album and still cannot stop listening but it took a long time to get there. Give it a chance and you will find an endearing album here waiting to shine.

Standout Tracks: Parade, Overjoyed, The Way, Sleeping At The Wheel, Waiting On A Train
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, worth the wait for, 4 Sep 2012
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This review is from: North (Audio CD)
Ive been itching to listen to this album since i heard it was in production. I haven't been disappointed. This album is very much matchbox twenty, the tracks are new and fresh with a different spin, its a more chilled album with a few punchy tracks here and there. The tunes are catchy, "English town" being so much like a bond soundtrack and "like Sugar" being just glorious. If youre a matchbox twenty fan you'll love the album. its not perfect but then is there really an album that is and has 14 songs that are amazing? What i like about the album most is unlike other bands the variety of tracks is there, its not an album of tracks that sound all similar, this is how you can tell it wasn't a rushed album just to make money, time and effort have been put into this. For me a welcome addition to my collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real grower, 14 Sep 2012
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This review is from: North (Audio CD)
I note and to a degree understand the disappointment many Matchbox fans have expressed in this album. It is a bit more 'poppy' than their previous releases. However, if a band stands still, it dies and 17 years after their first album you would surely expect to detect some changes in style. On first hearing I was a bit unimpressed quite frankly; so I played it again. I then found myself playing it 3 more times in quick succession and now.....I'm hooked. It is simple, straightforward and pretty unspectacular in many ways. There is nothing really clever or pretentious about it and I love it. As I write, it has become their first ever USA No. 1 and has landed in the middle of the dance, techno, talent contest saturated UK charts - so they must be doing something right. And unusually, it is an album which improves as it progresses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not A Bad Album, But Still Not Their Best, 24 Sep 2012
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This review is from: North (Audio CD)
I guess after ten years of a break between albums, fans had high hopes that this album would be something amazing. But they havent spent ten years making the album and really very high expectations were never gonna be met.

I dont think this album is as horrible as many reviewers are making it out. But I can agree they have delivered better.

The best way of putting it is- Did you like Rob's solo albums or did you think he sounded like he was chasing the mainstream/ pop charts too hard on those. I actually really liked both Rob's albums so I'm not adverse to the guys trying something different on their first group album in ten years. But if you couldnt accept the direction Rob took on his solo work, then I guess this album will be a disappointment and it's best to let this one pass you by.

It does start off with that good old rock sound of old on opener Parade. It's a pretty solid opener.

She's so mean - to me, I dont find it any more poppy than a song like Disease sounded in 2002. It's quite a catchy number.

Put your hands up and Like Sugar are probably the more poppy sounding tracks on the album but they arent horrible .

Overjoyed, I will, Sleeping at the wheel, I believe in everything , straight for this life, the way are the stand outs for me

but i wouldnt write this album off , unless you are looking for a total rock album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back MB20, 9 Sep 2012
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This review is from: North (Audio CD)
Having liked MB20 since Yourself Or Someone Like You I pre ordered North on Amazon and looked forward to its release.Reading some of the reviews before it arrived I began to fear the worst - How wrong could I have been. Most of the songs could easily find a place on the first 2 albums (the best they have released). There are a couple of songs that disappoint namely Put Your Hands Up which is well below standard and doesnt fit in at all and I Will which passes me by on every listen. Stand out tracks for me are Parade,Overjoyed,How Long,The Way and Radio. Some tracks do try something different but in a MB20 way and for me it works. Its obvious that alot of care and thought has gone into this album.
I always judge an album in that if I had heard it before i bought it, would I still buy it - with North, its a definate yes - a welcome return to form after the release of More than... and the new stuff on Exile... One small criticism is that there isnt much 'Deluxe' in the Deluxe edition - 3 extra songs but a very poor information booklet inside.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EASILY UP THERE WITH THEIR OTHER ALBUMS!!, 5 Sep 2012
By 
sam's town (london,england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: North (Audio CD)
After the decade hiatus since the third album and being a little underwhelmed by the majority of the new tracks on Exile On Mainstream a few years back, I was excited but weary about how this was gonna pan out. It took about five listens to kick in and I've had it on repeat since. The awesome opener 'Parade' would stand out on any of their albums (and that's saying something in itself); first single 'She's So Mean' is tongue in cheek and catchy as hell; second single 'Overjoyed' is goosebump-inducing; one of the standouts, 'Put Your Hands Up' seems to be catching some flack for being the danciest/campest/tongue in cheek thing they've done - anybody who doesn't get it's simple excellence probably deserves to just be left alone with their Maroon 5 collection; 'Our Song' and 'I Will' are both sweet and touching; 'English Town' is a close relation to Mad Season's excellent 'You Won't Be Mine'; 'How Long?', 'Radio' and 'The Way' are all EXTREMELY catchy; and the closing duo 'Like Sugar' and 'Sleeping At The Wheel' are fantastic. Even the bonus tracks are impressive!! Unfortunately it's rare these days for an album to be as consistent as this. I have a feeling a lot of the people who reviewed this album after only one or two listens will be regretting not giving it more of a chance - after all, the band have certainly earned it. Also, some reviews I've read seem to take issue with the change in musical direction from their previous style that a few of the songs take ( 'Put Your Hands Up' being the most obvious example) despite the last album being TEN YEARS AGO!! God forbid Matchbox Twenty dare experiment or try anything new, especially if it works. I think most of the cynicism stems not from the album's quality but from preconceived ideas of the direction this album was going to take. Anyway if this album doesn't click after the first few times, persist and you'll be awarded. Firmly under my skin.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars north by matchbox20, 8 Oct 2012
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This review is from: North (Audio CD)
This has been along time coming but for every matchbox20 fan its a must . Parade the opening track is so matchbox twenty and worth the money alone and that means the rest are a bonus. Shes so mean is a good pop song but the rest are great songs.I would recommend 4 and after that you should be hooked. English town, parade, our song and the way. These are just my best 4 and the rest are equally listenable and are fast becoming my most listened on my ipod and Ive only had the album 3 weeks.
Hope we dont wait as long for the next LP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars North by Matchbox Twenty, 3 Sep 2012
This review is from: North (Audio CD)
Living in Ireland I was able to pick this album up on Friday a couple of days before it's UK release date.This is there first album in ten years not counting the Exile on mainstream which wasn't a new full studio album.
I have been a big fan of MB20 for many years and have been looking forward to this album,on first listen I thought the record was good but it was lacking something,the songs were not as strong as more than you think you are or mad season but I have listened to it all weekend and it is a grower for sure.
The first 3 songs parade,she's so mean and overjoyed are classic MB20 and are fantastic,possibly the highlights of the record.The next track Put your hands up is very funky and will be a great live song as will most if the other tracks...this is definitely an album made to be played live.
Other highlights include English town,radio and like sugar all of which I love.I'm still not sure about 'the way' which I think Kyle takes the lead vocal.
Overall I like this record and I think MB20 fans who have waited a long time will be happy as well but as I said it's a grower
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North (Deluxe) by Matchbox Twenty
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