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  • North
  • Customer reviews

I've been a huge Matchbox Twenty / Rob Thomas fan since I heard Long Day, the first single released from their first album Yourself Or Someone Like You. Often when a band takes a long break, their next CD is a disappointing attempt to go back in time. For me, a band needs to evolve and avoid the trappings of one particular sound. Matchbox Twenty does that beautifully here. There is a maturity to Thomas's voice, the music, and the lyrics. There are shades of the old Matchbox Twenty, and also a hint of Rob Thomas's solo sound. Most of all, this CD reflects a band that has grown older together but not apart.

The standout for me is Sleeping At The Wheel - lyrically brilliant.
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on September 5, 2012
I like the album, but not as much as I like the previous 3 albums. It does not suck, giving it anything below a 5 star rating is pretty harsh and biased seeing as to how they can play and sing perfectly. So they deserve the 5 star rating, they are great musicians! They really are, but North didn't lead up to what I expected. I am not going to rate this album song-by-song with a rating out of 10.. That just isn't going to be enough to explain this album with past albums. Here it goes:

There are three things that change this new album from the classic Matchbox Twenty sound. 1. Progression: If you're a seasoned Matchbox Twenty fan, the first thing you will most likely notice is that the first 3 songs on the album have that classic sound. Parade is almost tear forming when you hear that nice smooth intro with reverb on the guitars, that nice building up verse, then all of a sudden a powerful chorus that gives you this heartfelt feeling. And then throughout the "Parade" the song just gets stronger. It is the same way with the first three songs. Reguardless of what people think, "She's So Mean" has that classic MB20 feel. It is just more modern than ever. However, once you pass the first three songs, you start to notice a small slump in the albums "Progression" sound, it becomes severely light. This is where I say it, if you guys were expecting a album with 12 straight songs like "Push", "Bent", "3AM", "Disease", "Bright Lights" etc.. You will not find plenty of songs like that on this album. Although "Radio" has that classic MB20 feel, but the rest of the album is a new sound. Dont get me wrong! It is a great sound, just not my cup of tea. You know?

2. Structuring: This album almost sounds like a complete experiment. Nearly every song could be a different genre. I was really confused on how the album changed from a poppy, moderate tempo "Our Song" to a Rob Thomas left over from Cradlesong. (Yes "I Will", I am talking about you!) I like "I Will".. But seriously, the acoustic guitar part sounds increidibly like "Getting Late" off of Rob's "Cradlesong" album. It did to me at least.. What made the other albums really unique was that it seemed like everybody in the band made an attempt at mixing the songs together to create a good flow. Listen to how "Hand Me Down" mellows in after "All I Need" ever so gently. Or how "Bed of Lies" plays out so well when opening for "Leave". This album just throws Slow Song, then fast song out at you. And it just kind of feels awkward to me.

3. The Sound: I still, to this day, just don't understand how Kyle Cook is keeping himself together without the big solo's like in "Downfall." What happened to the distorted guitars like in "Disease"? This album has almost no distortion on it, which is something I cannot get used to! This is a Matchbox Twenty album, they are meant to be somewhat Rockish! It leaves me to wonder, what happened? Did Rob become too much of a softy after his "Something To Be" album? Come to think of it, ever since that album, I have not heard another song from him like "So Sad So Lonely" or "Feel". I Just don't get it.

Overall, I don't want anybody to get me wrong here. North is a GREAT MB20 album, but it just is not my cup of tea nor does it sound anything like Matchbox to me. The album deserve a 5/5, because even though I am not a huge fan of it, other people are. And it selling very well and people honestly do like it. So I cannot just trash the album just because I don't find it amazing. I am not a very biased person and try to keep things in reality. Again, North, great album, not my cup of tea. Give it a listen though.
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on January 9, 2013
The official deluxe edition is nearly twice the price for two more songs...
Maybe it includes linear notes and lyrics (This version does not). I was a little disappointed by the little effort that it feels like they put into the artwork.

But this is like the digital deluxe version on itunes. You get 3 bonus songs "Waiting on a train", "I believe in everything" and "straight for this life".
Total of 15 songs for about $11. Not bad at all. It wasn't advertised anywhere.
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on September 26, 2012
I have been listening to Matchbox Twenty since they were Tabitha's Secret. It's amazing to listen to the music of them back then and through the years. This album is great, it definitely has that Matchbox Twenty vibe to it, but you can also hear each member of the bands style. With each band member going Solo for several years. Rob Thomas came out with 2 albums in that time, Paul came out with one and so did Kyle. Adam also left the band so for awhile Paul was playing the guitar instead of the drums in their album "Exile on Mainstream" while that album is great, I love Paul as a drum and you can really hear him on this album. They all took turn writing songs on this album. I recommend anyone that like Matchbox Twenty to buy this album and if you can go online and look on Sirius XM for the Track by Track Talk.. THE PULSE on Sirius XM has aired a special where Rob, Paul and Kyle all sit down and just talk about each song and what the song means to them and what it took to make the song, it was incredible listening to that and think if you can find everyone should take a listen to it, so that they know what the song is talking about.
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on September 16, 2017
Abdolutely love it!!!
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on October 13, 2016
Huge MB20 fan and saw them on tour promoting North. Love it.
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on November 12, 2013
I had a chance to preview this album before it was released, and I was estatic to find that it's everything I wanted out of a new release from this great band! I wouldn't give any song on the album less than 4, and plenty of them get a solid 5. She's So Mean just makes me want to dance, as does Put Your Hands Up. Radio has to be one of the most clever songs I've heard in a long time. After the half-release they gave us with Exile on Mainstream (sorry, as much as I love MB20 they didn't have enough albums out for a greatest hits compilation), I really needed them to step up their game and they did.
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on October 5, 2012
The new Matchbox Twenty album North is better than I had even hoped for. Rob Thomas's voice still has the same smooth sound that is so instantly recognizable. No one can interpret lyrics with a singing voice quite the way Rob can. We also get to hear Kyle Cook's beautiful voice as well as his great guitar skills. Paul's drum playing is soooo good. Pookie, as always, keeps the band's sound together. Great to hear Matt Beck's contributions, too. He's so versatile. The song writing is stellar. The songs I can't get out of my head are How Long, Overjoyed, I Will, English Town, The Way, Like Sugar and Straight for This Life. North is the only CD in my car's 6 CD changer right now.
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on August 22, 2017
Love Matchbox 20 And this CD does not disappoint.
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on March 18, 2013
This album is full of gems from the fun and wicked "Shes So Mean" to the sweet "overjoyed" which I play on repeat, such subtle, everyday stuff that feels so big when it happens to you. Eloquently stated and with out the grandiose statement love often invites, makes it that much more brilliant. "I can not overstate it, I would be overjoyed". Love it! I listen to the album through and through. The sound is cohesive but each song noteworthy in its own right. Would definitely recommend.
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