Rob Thomas is the contemporary master of the great hook. Any guy who wrote "Smooth" knows his pop chart stuff. He's got a great, soulful sound, and always did. I think any comparison to Justin Timberlake is ludicrous, and a fantastic compliment to Timberlake. Rob is a smart, edgy guy, even if his music isn't edgy. Matchbox twenty is as far from edgy as you can get, but they've pumped out some terrific singles. Call them "post-grunge", "alt-rock", or anything else - that doesn't change the fact that Rob has had a great history since "Push". He knows how to reach into your chest, grab your heart, and say, "It doesn't even matter if you KNOW what I'm singing - you will love this song!" This guy is truly talented, and I've never understood the static that critics have given him over the years. The accusation that he's responsible for all of the prefabricated late-90's pop in the world is ridiculous, and the notion that he shouldn't sing his own stuff, but only write for OTHER people, is absurd.
"Lonely No More" is another great single with a slick urban sound, and it hooked me instantly. The video adds to this mesmerizing quality, with its "Rubik's cube" flip gimmick. I loved the look of it, and Rob's new hair! He's older and more mature now, and he's not the same man that he was 10 years ago. He's changing, and this is evidence of that change. This new album has some unbelievable new sounds on it, and he's mid-journey in his songwriting life. Let him go on that journey.