At this point in his career, Rob Thomas is basically a music legend. Having written hit songs like “Smooth” along with countless of hits with his band Matchbox Twenty, it’s obvious from the get-go that he’s a talented musician and performer. His latest solo work, The Great Unknown, shows that he’s not afraid to push the boundaries of his music. The album has everything that you could have hoped for from Rob Thomas, and so much more. In fact – with soulful lyrics, rhythms and melodies that come right from the heart, and a wide range of elements and influences – this might even be his best album to date.
Part of what makes Rob Thomas so brilliant to listen to is his songwriting. He’s able to translate the most incredible feelings into words and phrases, and weave them together to create relatable, touching stories. It’s a gift to be able to compose meaningful lyrics as eloquently as Rob Thomas does.
Not only is that gift in every moment of The Great Unknown, but Thomas has expanded upon it. The album tells these meaningful, relatable stories that touch the heart and open the mind. The lyrics to almost every song are just as catchy as they are meaningful. Whether it’s “Trust You” or “Lie To Me,” you find yourself singing and jamming along to every song.
The lyrics serve as the heart and soul of The Great Unknown. But it’s the intricate and lively melodies that really make the songs stand out. Even the simple melody in “Hold On Forever” carries a certain weight and charm to it that makes you fall in love instantly. All of the melodies fit in with the message behind the song, and the songs flow effortlessly into the next. Even with that effortless flow, the songs on The Great Unknown are as varied and unique as the meaning behind them.
The actual instrumentals give each of the songs a lot of depth, and he uses elements and effects that highlight the melody while at the same time keeping the rhythm front and center. This is part of what makes The Great Unknown so fun to listen to. Every song sounds like its own jam – even softer, slower songs like “Paper Dolls” and the title track.
In the end, The Great Unknown is a product of not only a life time of experience, but a lifetime of doing what he loves. There is a passion in everything that Rob Thomas does, and it’s never shown quite as much as it does in this latest album. It’s that passion that has gotten Rob Thomas so far in his work, in his life, and it’s that passion that’s going to keep him in the spotlight for years to come.
The Great Unknown is available now through Atlantic Records.