Rob Thomas Shines on New Solo Album, ‘Chip Tooth Smile’ – Review

2019-04-26

Rob Thomas – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Randall Slavin

Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas tackles deep issues on his new solo album, “Chip Tooth Smile”

It’s no secret that Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty has a thriving solo career. Today (April 26), the singer and songwriter releases his fourth solo studio album, “Chip Tooth Smile,” and the album shows Thomas’ musical diversity and styles. Produced by Butch Walker and written by Thomas, “Chip Tooth Smile” keeps Thomas’ pop sensibility alive, but offers a deeper, more mature sound and motif.

The album’s debut single, “One Less Day (Dying Young),” is about embracing the moment and not taking life for granted. In it, Thomas croons about praying to live another day, losing loved ones around him and the fear of the unknown.

“I see my life like a train with a one-way track / I’ve made mistakes, and I couldn’t take ’em back / And I’ve been runnin’ ’round in circles ’til I’m dizzy, I can’t lie / But every night I go to sleep’s a day that I survive,” he sings in the tune.

Thomas describes the song as “an anthem about life and living. Living one more day is a privilege not afforded to everyone, so do all you can with the ones you get.”

Another track off the album, “I Love It,” is an upbeat, catchy, dance-able tune that could be cranked at any party. The chorus has a bouncy vibe, with the lyrics, “I love it / Feeling nothing / Man, I love it / Feeling gets me down, down, down.”

“Timeless” starts as a stripped down, hushed pop track and crescendos into an alternative rock anthem, with steady rhythms and Thomas singing, “All this talk of modern love / I know what you’re thinkin’ of / Our love is timeless, timeless, timeless.”

As the album rolls along, songs such as “Can’t Help Me Now,” “The Man to Hold the Water” and “Funny” showcase Thomas’ versatility as an artist. He tackles upbeat pop tracks and darker anthems with equal footing. Packing a dozen new songs that cover the gamut of musical styles, “Chip Tooth Smile” offers a special and unique take on pop music, taking it to a deeper place that’s both intriguing and entertaining. Ink rating: 9/10.

Thomas will hit the road on a major North American tour this summer to support “Chip Tooth Smile,” kicking off May 28 in Red Bank, New Jersey, and running through August. Find his upcoming roster of tour dates here.

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