It feels like Matchbox Twenty has always been a band on the periphery of my mind, with plenty of hits written by frontman Rob Thomas emerging during my younger and teenage years.
There’s something weirdly nostalgic about Thomas’ voice, even though he has been the subject of many, many memes down the years.
Now I find myself unironically listening to best-of Rob Thomas playlists for the pure enjoyment factor, and perhaps because of its value to transport the mind back to simpler times.
Looking back on it, remembering his solo work and Matchbox Twenty work kind of all just rolls into one discography, so we’re including both solo and band hits on this list.
Here are 10 hits by Matchbox Twenty and Rob Thomas for the ages, many of which have absolutely classic and bizarro-world video clips.
As soon as that twangy riff comes in, your vocal chords are already warming up for the chorus. This one hits just as hard as ever, with some truly powerful lyrics. Aren’t we all just a little unwell?
Another Rob Thomas solo track containing absolutely all the feels. I actually had no idea it was part of the soundtrack for a Disney movie called Meet The Robinsons, which was also contributed to by They Might Be Giants and The All-American Rejects. The more you know!
‘If You’re Gone’
Not the most recognisable intro, but as soon as those lyrical harmonies give way to the chorus, Thomas finds his groove. An understated but fantastic part of his love song discography, plus how about that horn section in the refrain!
Alrighty so at this point we’ve made it to leather jump-suit era Rob Thomas, which he definitely pulls off by the way. Another tune that really builds to that iconic chorus, as he really takes liberties with aaaaaaall the vowels. Beautiful.
‘Lonely No More’
Whatever that instrument is at the start, has become known for this song and pretty much this song alone. The video features bad-boy Rob with short hair and some pretty weird animation, with walls disappearing and the floor giving way, but when you’re making bank like Thomas was in 2005, why not?
‘How Far We’ve Come’
While this one took almost a completely different tact stylistically, it’s a track that remains in Matchbox Twenty’s top few tracks, and that’s a hill I will happily die on. So much energy, combined with wistful lyrics as Thomas and co predict the end of the world. Apt in 2020 as ever.
A much more relaxed number, especially after the rapid ‘How Far We’ve Come’. 3AM is one of the band’s most successful releases ever, and also shows how far video clips have come, combining still images with moving pictures? Who would have the audacity to produce something like this these days? No one, that’s who.
‘This Is How A Heart Breaks’
Angsty Rob Thomas returns with another bitter love song. Smooth hair, big earrings and elongated vowels, and spends the whole clip running from himself! What a twist! (Spoilers, sorry).
‘Smooth’ (with Carlos Santana)
Sure it’s a feature track, but this track has so much going for it. Carlos Santana in his prime, that iconic guitar riff, that weird radio-effect on Thomas’ vocals, oh and the video clip which portrays Rob Thomas as the whitest man alive. It’s all brilliant.
Another tune from peak-Thomas era, with some easy-listening rock power chords beneath it. And of course, yet another truly fucking bizarre video clip. Why he is walking through a bowling alley with a camel??? We may never know.