Matchbox Twenty- Mad Season
Thanks SO much to moemoe, who translated this article from German and sent it to us! :)
The American quintet’s proof of maturity
When you listen to mad season for the first time, you may be disappointed that matchbox twenty’s sophomore release has a lack of this cheek found on their debut. But somehow it grips you, it wants to be listened to over and over again and each time it reveals itself more to the listener’s ear and soul, to finally turn out to be a masterpiece of music.
Still matchbox twenty are rock musicians, which is shown by songs like the strong "Crutch" and the euphoric single "Bent", but this time also elements of soul and funk were used: "Black & White People" has a forcing horn section, decent but powerful.
On the ballad "If You’re Gone", where others surely would have used sentimental violins; the quintet prefers sensitive brass. You can hear strings nevertheless, but they are used to accentuate the atmosphere ("Leave", "Rest Stop"), rather than to produce a mood.
With "Last Beautiful Girl" matchbox twenty managed to make a nimble love song, not least because of the use of percussions. "Stop" radiates an unsettlingly dark mood with siren-like woman’s singing (Obviously this person doesn't know that Kyle is a MAN, lmao!), interrupted by soft piano playing. An absolute highlight is the epic closer, "You Won’t Be Mine", an unbelievably quiet song, reminiscent of Portishead. Strings floating and unfolding width, piano pattering and over all of that Thomas’ balanced vocals are enthroned.
Generally, the thing that impresses most on "Mad Season" is frontman Rob Thomas’ vocal performance, he presents his feelings confidently. Thomas can breathe unsettlingly breakable ("Leave"), sound wistfully-torn ("Bed Of Lies") or in the usual rocking way ("Crutch"), without ever losing the awkward and powerful unmistakability of his voice. He obviously worked on that and the result is distinct.
All in all matchbox twenty don’t seem to feel pressured because of the success of their debut "Yourself Or Someone Like You". On the contrary, they gave themselves space for growing and musical maturing. And "Mad Season" is their proof of maturity.
(W.J. / DocRock Show)