Matchbox Twenty’s first album in seven years North was released today, and it is pretty much in the adult-contemporary vein the band has been known for. The album opens well with the contemplative ”Parade” about a lost love, and into the lead single “She’s So Mean“, about a possible rebound. The album is filled with beats both funky and easygoing. “Put Your Hands Up” has an almost 2007-era Maroon 5 sound to it, with its airy baseline and a summer party tone.
The laid back songs are on the soft rock end (like “Sleeping At the Wheel”), and usually deal with the downside of love. “English Town” is a tormented song that ends with an orchestral note. “The Way” is where fellow bandmate Kyle Cook gets lead vocals, and it’s easily my favorite song on the album. His voice is raspier than frontman Rob Thomas’, which makes the sense of loss and heartbreak in the song more real. “Like Sugar” is probably the most progressive-rock sounding song on the record, with muddled electric guitar licks and foot-stomping break.
North is an album suited for easing from summer to fall with a good mix of mellow bonfire-esque tunes and upbeat car-ride songs. It doesn’t feature any big risks, but it does have Matchbox Twenty making fun and light rocking songs and doing it well.