Matchbox Twenty
Mad Season


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
November 24th, 2009 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Is it my nostalgia speaking, or is this really this good?

Nostalgia works in mysterious ways. It forces us to love something more than others do, and may even provide the means to believe something is better than it really is. Either way, this phenomenon is experienced by all of us at one point in our lives, and influences us in ways we cannot imagine. As far as I can remember, Matchbox Twenty’s “Mad Season” was one of the first records I had ever listened to along with Third Eye Blind’s Self-Titled. This had become an instant classic for me, for I was drawn in by the hooks and the sheer accessibility of the record. I had also attended my first rock concert on the “Mad Season” tour at age eleven and was awed by the energy and realistic feel of the night. My admiration for Matchbox Twenty had only grown more from here, I had purchased “Yourself Or Someone Like You” and enjoyed it as well. Even as a grew older and the band grew off me a bit, I still retained a modest reverence towards Matchbox Twenty, due to the nostalgic principle. Despite all of this, I am prepared to prove that this album is quite deserving of this rating.

Prior to Rob Thomas’ solo success in conventional pop, he was the lead singer of a prominent mainstream pop-rock band. Yes, Matchbox Twenty was quite popular in the late 1990’s in the early 2000’s, releasing three commercially successful albums. The debut record, “Yourself Or Someone Like You” was immensely fashionable on the charts due to singles Real World, 3 AM, Push, and Back 2 Good. On the whole, the record was a great mainstream rock record, hooks a-plenty and diverse. “Mad Season” would demonstrate that it was a growth from its predecessor, for it was more powerful. “Mad Season” did see a great deal of radio play as well with Bent, If You’re Gone, Last Beautiful Girl, and Mad Season becoming singles.

“Mad Season” is an intricately developed and outstanding pop-rock record, orchestras, horns, and back-up singing contributing to the already dazzling songwriting. In the record’s first song, Thomas claims, “And it's good that I'm not angry.” “Mad Season,” for what it’s worth follows this statement, the blatant anger of Push is missing, and the result is a much more emotional collection of tracks. Crutch, although serves as one of the exceptions, it is one of the more aggressive tracks here, with Thomas explaining that well, “I couldn’t be your crutch.” The song listing could not have been created more delicately, for the following track Last Beautiful Girl is the most wonderful and sentimental pieces on the album. The catchy and mellow feel is nothing short of magnificent, and grows to a powerful and fitting climax with Thomas belting out “The one that you wrecked won’t take you back.”

The hook-laden formula is subject to a great deal of the record, and is especially accentuated on the title-track. This at one time single, draws the listener in with “I need you now, do you think I can cope?” and still contains enough changes to be a spectacular song. Thomas’ falsetto at the bridge is arguably the highlight of the track, and indicates that there is passion everywhere on this album. Rest Stop follows this dynamic, but has a much more sentimental feel, complete with strings and a slow pace. Rest Stop’s ambiance is quite beautiful, and Thomas’ lyrics are tragic, “She said while you were sleeping, I was listening to the radio
and wondering what you're dreaming when it came to mind that I didn't care. So I thought hell if it's over, I had better end it quick or I could lose my nerve. Are you listening? Can you hear me? Have you forgotten?” The ballads seem to overshadow much of the upbeat and playful tracks, Bed of Lies and You Won’t Be Mine are evidence of this. Both utilize the backing orchestra tremendously and the latter is haunting and blatant. As the strings build to an ultimate dynamic, Thomas is blunt, “Over the lies, you'll be strong, you'll be rich in love and you will carry on, but oh no, no you won't be mine.” Lead single Bent’s insistent style is effective as well, it also possesses the accessibility and emotion that made this album as good as it is.

Not to say “Mad Season” doesn’t have its brighter sections. Both Black and White People and If You’re Gone taking full advantage of the horns, with the latter enjoying an uplifting and ultra-catchy atmosphere. Overall, “Mad Season” is a truly brilliant pop-rock album, and should forever stand out as the best by Matchbox Twenty. Maybe it’s my nostalgia speaking, but “Mad Season” is one of the greatest mainstream records of the decade.

Recommended Tracks:
Last Beautiful Girl
Mad Season
Rest Stop
Bent
You Won’t Be Mine



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user ratings (244)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 24th 2009


6088 Comments


Wow does this take me back. I actually had this at a 4 when I realized how much I loved it and had to bump up.

handoman
November 24th 2009


2386 Comments


iluvatar gave this a 5, i gotta check it out


TigerShark277
November 24th 2009


73 Comments


herd bent randomly like 2 days ago

PayneTiger777
November 24th 2009


4404 Comments


My mom loves this band.

Cesar
November 24th 2009


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's actually a good album. Blast from the past man.

EVedder27
November 24th 2009


6088 Comments


Yes it is

ninjuice
November 24th 2009


6760 Comments


I should get this since I love the 3 singles. Great review man.

Ponton
Emeritus
November 24th 2009


5804 Comments


This is a very good nostalgic review. I like these.

I can see the band's appeal, but I've never been a big fan of Rob Thomas' voice for some reason.

EVedder27
November 24th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks guys. To be honest I really don't like his solo stuff.

Romulus
November 24th 2009


8443 Comments


I was thinking a few days ago and nostalgia really is actually the best feeling ever. I haven't read the review yet but I'm sure it's good.

Blindsided
November 24th 2009


1871 Comments


Nice album and review bro. pos.

Eclectic
November 25th 2009


3302 Comments


Good review.
Personally I prefer More Than You Think You are and their debut over this, but its still pretty good.

mvdu
November 25th 2009


606 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like it; not as much as Rob's latest solo CD and YOSLY, but I haven't heard it in a while.

Douchebag
November 25th 2009


3624 Comments


"I can see the band's appeal, but I've never been a big fan of Rob Thomas' voice for some reason"

I agree with this dude.

Eclectic
November 25th 2009


3302 Comments


Corey Taylor > Rob Thomas

Discuss

(btw, I do not endorse this opinion, in fact I think its stupid, but I want YOUR opinion)

AtavanHalen
November 25th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why the hell would you compare Slipknot and Matchbox 20?

In other news, this is a good album but the review is too self-involved.

EVedder27
November 25th 2009


6088 Comments


I know the review is self-involved. I haven't done anything like that before and figured that it would be something different for me.

Knott-
Emeritus
November 25th 2009


10198 Comments


This album is as good as you say. IYG is one of those tracks, half a decade after I first heard it, that still completely alters my mood and gives me butterflies. Might be nostalgia, but it's fucking awesome.

BigHans
November 25th 2009


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can relate to the nostalgic component you mention. I've never thought that highly of this album however, I much prefer Yourself or Someone like you. Although Bed of Lies is a great track.

EVedder27
November 25th 2009


6088 Comments


For me I would go Mad Season>Yourself or Someone Like You>More Than You Think You Are



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