Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Matchbox Twenty - Yourself or Someone Like You

Album: Yourself or Someone Like You
Artist: Matchbox Twenty (or weren't they called "Matchbox 20" back then?)
Release: October 1, 1996

Yourself or Someone Like You, Matchbox Twenty's cleverly named debut album is one of my favorite albums of all time.  I can't remember when or where I got it, but it was pretty new at the time, so I must have picked it up right after my first semester in college.  I probably switched from Seven Mary Three's American Standard to this album and it has been a constant favorite ever since.

I'm not saying this is necessarily the best album Matchbox Twenty has ever made (I'm also not saying that it's not).  I'm sure they have grown and developed as artists and musicians over the years.  However for me, personally, I don't think it will ever get better than "Busted" and "Hang".  Not to mention, Rob's voice is my ears' equivalent of drinking hot tea.  Just smooth and warm and wonderful.  Has his vocal performance gotten even better over the years?  Probably.  Did it need to?  Nope, not a bit.

This is one of those few and far between records that I am totally into all the way through.  There is usually at least one song that I could take or leave, but I truly love the shit out of every single song on Yourself or Someone Like You.  Even "3 A.M." which I've listened to untold hundreds of times.  I read somewhere a long time ago that Rob Thomas wrote "3 A.M." about his mother being ill when he was young.  Even though I'm not 100% certain that's true, after having lost my own mom last year, this song still hits me in a whole new way.  It's a powerful song.

This album also contains "Long Day" which is pretty much my own personal anthem.  I mean, with lines like "I'm sorry 'bout the attitude I need to give when I'm with you, but no one else would take this shit from me", how can I not love this song?  (I'm sure my husband could attest to how well this song suits me as well) I could literally quote the entire thing and it would be applicable to me.  Love, love, love it.  Another one I feel a special kinship with is "Push", of course, now that I think about it, I'm not sure what that says about me exactly.

I own everything Matchbox Twenty has ever recorded and while it is all obviously quite good, Yourself or Someone Like You remains the best one for me.  It's not just the nostalgic quality of it that makes me love it.  There are no sharp edges on this record, the whole thing is smooth and comfortable like my favorite pair of jeans.  The guitars are dirty, the vocals are on the mark and the lyrics hit home perfectly.  I'm really excited about their upcoming new release (and hopefully the big fat tour that will go along with it!!) but no matter how awesome that one is, this one will always have a special place in my heart.

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