27: Mad Season (Matchbox Twenty)

Album: Mad Season
Artist: Matchbox Twenty
Year: 2000

1. Angry
2. Black & White People
3. Crutch
4. Last Beautiful Girl
5. If You’re Gone
6. Mad Season
7. Rest Stop
8. The Burn
9. Bent
10. Bed of Lies
11. Leave
12. Stop
13. You Won’t Be Mine

I was very excited when this album came out and I came away feeling it was the best album I’d ever listened to. Mad Season is definitely more polished than the band’s first album, but as the years have gone by it has lost something. I think part of it lies in the first song, where Rob Thomas sings about how he’s not angry anymore. It’s autobiographical, as around this time Rob got engaged and a lot of the bitterness and cynicism kind of melted away. I’m happy for him, really, but while Mad Season still contains some passion, it is mostly missing the rawness that turned me on to them initially.

Rest Stop still contains that mood, but the chorus is repeated about eighty-four times, ruining the mood by the end. Stop is as angry as anything you’ll hear from Matchbox Twenty, but it’s one of the weaker songs lyrically. The songs that are great musically aren’t all that emotionally resonating.  Still, the music is good enough that I still enjoy listening to the album. There are no songs I dislike, and it ends on a pretty solid note with You Won’t Be Mine, a haunting tune featuring Thomas on the piano. Other favorites are Last Beautiful Girl, Black & White People, Mad Season and Bent.

I have liked virtually nothing Thomas has put out since this album. I felt More Than You Think You Are was wretched outside of the mediocre singles. And every single since has done nothing for me. His songs, initially inspired, have become incredibly generic and flat.

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4 thoughts on “27: Mad Season (Matchbox Twenty)

  1. This was definitely a strong album for the group. Looking at my list, I see that I rank Mad Season, Leave, and If You’re Gone the highest. I’m surprised to read you don’t any love for More Than You Think You Are. Unwell and Bright Lights are two of my favorite Matchbox 20 songs.

    On another note, what’s the big idea of using “Matchbox Twenty” for this album rather than the “Matchbox 20” used on the prior and later albums? I hate it when bands do that! It’s like the Goo Goo Dolls jumping bank and forth from “The Goo Goo Dolls” and just “Goo Goo Dolls”. Make a decision people!

    • I almost made a commentary on that ridiculous name change. I much prefer the 20 for some reason.

      You’re Gone is probably my least favorite song on the album. I’ve always found the lyrics pretty ham-fisted. “There’s a little bit something me in everything in you.” Yuck.

      I like Unwell and Bright Lights just fine. It’s just the rest does nothing for me. I try about every few years to listen to it and yeah, no.

      • I dislike this band’s name regardless of capitalization or spelling. The whole “word and number” thing that rock bands were doing got real old for me, real fast.

        I never listened to this album because I hate 100% of their singles unless I’m forgetting something. However, Rob Thomas was legitimately hilarious on an episode of “It’s Always Sunny” about four years back.

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