Top positive review
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A grower - much better than its first impression
on 17 September 2012
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.