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ROB THOMAS - SOMETHING TO BE - WARNER/EMI
Record Rating: ***

Rob Thomas - Something To Be - Warner/EMI With a heavyweight guest appearance by John Mayer on the track Streetcorner Symphony it is clear that Rob Thomas wasn’t pulling any stops on his solo debut. The man who wrote possibly the biggest hit of Carlos Santana’s career when he penned and sang on Smooth has been a multi-million selling (and earning) artist for a while now. He has also been an artist who has outgrown earlier iterations of his career to emerge ever more successful. Before he was the front-man and driving force behind Matchbox Twenty, Thomas was with a band called Tabitha’s Secret. While the futures of his mates on that project as well as those in Matchbox Twenty is not known, it is clear that the man who burst onto the scene while promising to ‘push you around’ is here to stay, atleast a little while longer.

For his solo debut he lost some weight and a whole lot of hair but the hooks, melodies and lyrics are still firmly in place. As the slow-burning but quick-engulfing power of his first single Lonely No More proved, the man is back and he is more than the sum of lascivious rumours involving him and Tom Cruise. The album features supporting slots by Mike Elizondo who also plays bass for Dr. Dre and drummer Gerald Heyward who pounds the skins for Beyoncé and all in all, it an offering designed to make Thomas fans happy. For those missing the rest of his band, ballads like Ever The Same and When The Heartache Ends are designed to make the pain go away.

On the title track he muses about the different ways he could achieve a new identity but it is clear that in his career, the appearance Thomas has adopted for himself suits him just fine.

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