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Matchbox Twenty – North

Laura Lloyd

Triangle

Since laying low for the last ten years, Matchbox Twenty are back with their first full length studio album since More Than You Think You Are. Their new album, North, pushes the boundaries and it’s clear that the band have grown and expanded upon their songs and lyrics in the last ten years. Although not many people may have noticed their disappearance, this new album is guaranteed to shoot them into the spotlight and put them back on the map. This fifteen song gem is made up of electronic sounds, acoustic guitars, dominant drum beats and catchy lyrics which makes it hard to find fault.

The opening song, Parade, however, doesn’t evoke much excitement for the rest of the album. It isn’t bad but it isn’t brilliant which overall makes it a mediocre song to open with, it sounds like one of the the ‘same old songs’ that you hear on the radio time and time again which is a shame because the rest of the songs on the album are impressive. Similarly to this, I Believe In Everything also holds the same message and same melody as a dozen other songs do. The Way is also a little more of a boring song. It mimics a love ballad and seems to go on for a long time and although it is good lyrically it’s one of the least memorable songs on the album and one that you would probably skip after the first few minutes.

Still, She’s So Mean and Waiting On A Train are certainly the songs that stick in your mind. She’s So Mean is a song about a stereotypical rich, high school girl who breaks hearts but add the guitar riff, the drum beat and the persistent clapping and it transforms into a upbeat song about loving the girl you hate. Waiting On A Train is the last track on the album and saving the best for last definitely applies here. It opens with fast lyrics which is refreshing after the previous three depressing songs. A piano is introduced during the crescendo and the song evolves into a hard hitting explosion.  In addition to this both songs make you want to get up and dance and sing at the top of your lungs, they’re incredibly easy to lose yourself to.

Although the album’s main themes are clearly love and heartbreak, it still manages to create its own pathway and doesn’t succumb to sounding like the common ‘cheesy’ love songs.  Although a lot of the lyrics sound as though they have been penned by a lovesick teenager, it is certainly an album worth listening to no matter what your age.

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