Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty Will Cure What Ails You

Dear J,

I’ve been in a slump lately. Just a lot of nonsense has been going on with this one girl and it’s gotten me all out of whack. I’m actually feeling emotions. It sucks. The only thing that has kept my life from spiraling down a deep, dark vortex of depression has been the silky smooth voice of Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty. His songs say exactly what I’m thinking. They don’t let you bury your feelings, they make you confront them head on.

I made a playlist of all my favorite Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty songs and have been asking Alexa to play it on my Echo Dot nonstop, I’ve been playing the songs in my truck any time I go somewhere, and I’ve been jamming out to them at work instead of doing work. I can’t help it. Rob Thomas just may be the most talented and lyrically gifted songwriter ever to walk the Earth. Below, I’ve ranked the songs on my playlist from my least favorite to my favorite even though I love all of these songs and could listen to them any time. I’ve also included a link to the Spotify playlist I made.

17. Long Day – Matchbox Twenty

I’m so terrified of no one else but me,  I’m here all the time, I won’t go away

This song reminds me of the times I become my worst self in front of the people I care about the most. They don’t deserve it and I don’t know why I act that way but I can’t help it. It seems like I always have an excuse.

16. How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty

Can you tell me what was ever really special about me all this time?

This is one of the faster paced songs on the list. It’s a fun song to shout. Even so, it’s got some deep lyrics. It’s about the world ending and a guy wondering if his life even meant anything. I hope that in the end, my life meant something.

15. Someday – Rob Thomas

Maybe someday we’ll figure all this out

This song is pretty straightforward. Maybe someday everything will turn out alright. That’s the hope anyway.

14. Real World – Matchbox Twenty

I wish the real world would just stop hassling me

This song is all about escapism. We all sit around wondering what our lives would be like if we were more important or more powerful. But then the real world gets in the way of our dreams and we’ve just gotta make do with who we are.

13. Her Diamonds – Rob Thomas

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do so I sit down and I cry, too, But don’t let her see

This song is pretty sad taken at face value but takes on an even more somber feel when you realize it was written about Rob Thomas’ wife Marisol’s battle with an autoimmune disease. He said that she has good days and bad days and that this song was written about one of the bad days. Comforting a loved one is never easy, especially when you’re at a loss for words and all you can offer is your presence. This is a feeling Rob conveys beautifully through his lyrics.

12. Smooth – Santana feat. Rob Thomas

Give me your heart, make it real, or else forget about it

For some reason, there are people out there who don’t believe that this classic is one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Those people are wrong. I personally have been listening to this song nonstop since I was four years old.

11. Lonely No More – Rob Thomas

Why can’t we just try?

This song is about a guy who’s thinking about getting into a relationship with a woman but he’s been hurt and left lonely so many times before that he wants to be absolutely sure she won’t be like the rest before he jumps in. She wants him to trust her with his heart. She doesn’t think they’d hurt each other and wants to at least try. Me and that one girl sort of fit into this song but in opposite roles.

10. Mockingbird – Rob Thomas

You and me tried everything, but still that mockingbird won’t sing

This is another one of the more upbeat songs with a chorus that’s fun to shout. As fun as it is, though, the words won’t keep you from thinking about how hard y’all tried to make it work and just couldn’t. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

9. Unwell – Matchbox Twenty

Hold on, Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown, And I don’t know why

This is a classic Matchbox Twenty song. You can’t skip it once you hear that banjo playing. It’s a song about getting in a slump and just hoping that the people you love will stick around long enough to see you through it.

8. Push – Matchbox Twenty

I don’t know if I’ve ever been really loved by a hand that’s touched me

Push is another staple for any Matchbox Twenty playlist. It’s about a guy stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship. I’ve never experienced this personally so I mostly like this song because of how catchy it is. The imagery in this song really helps it stand out too. I feel like someone being “rusty” and feeling like their head is caving in is something most people can relate to.

7. 3AM – Matchbox Twenty

She only sleeps when it’s raining

This song is deeply personal to Rob Thomas. He wrote it to depict the struggles his mom went through as she battled with cancer. This song has everything: rain, loneliness, cries for help. It evokes every emotion we keep hidden deep down and pushes them to the surface.

6. Bright Lights – Matchbox Twenty

I got a hole in me now, Yeah, I got a scar I can talk about

This one’s about a guy longing for a girl who leaves to go on to bigger and better things. He doesn’t want her to go but he also doesn’t want to hold her back. He tells her that if the bright lights aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, she can always come back home to him and he’ll be waiting for her. Sounds familiar.

5. If You’re Gone – Matchbox Twenty

I think I’m scared, I think too much, I know it’s wrong, it’s a problem I’m dealing

Sometimes in a relationship, you can see the end coming from a mile away. You do all you can to stop it but it’s just inevitable. And when she’s gone, you have so much room to breathe but you can’t even move without her. You try to hold on but in the end, you’ve got to start planning a life without her in it. Rob Thomas wrote this song for his fiancée (now wife), Marisol, when she was unsure if she wanted to marry a musician.

4. Back 2 Good – Matchbox Twenty

I’m lonely now, and I don’t know how, to get it back to good

I think this song is about how people are alone even when they’re together. They just keep someone around to fill the void when they’d really rather be with someone else. They don’t know how to break out of that rut. I think that’s what happened with me and her. I think she just kept me around because she was hung up on her ex but needed someone around. She needed someone safe. She was always talking about him. Always worried about him. It wasn’t great.

3. Ever The Same – Rob Thomas

Just let me hold you while you’re falling apart, Just let me hold you so we both fall down

This song is about being vulnerable and letting someone in. Life is hard but it’s a little easier when you’ve got someone there to share the load with you. It’s meaningful but it’s also just a beautiful song to listen and sing along to. People who cry a lot might just shed a tear while they listen to it.

2. Overjoyed – Matchbox Twenty

When nobody understands you, well I do

This is a sweet song. The message it conveys is that talking to her and just being with her makes him overjoyed. He can’t contain his emotions. He just wants to be with her, just wants to hear her voice. It seems like a simple thing to say but it says so much. I’m sure everyone has someone who makes them feel that way or would like to be that person for someone else.

1. Bent – Matchbox Twenty

Shouldn’t be so complicated, Just hold me and then, Well just hold me again

In this song, he’s basically telling her that he needs her help getting straightened out. All he needs for that to happen is for her to love him or show him some affection. It’s simple. “Just hold me and then, well just hold me again.” He’s like a chia pet. Just water him once a day and he’s good. He’s not clingy and doesn’t need attention 24/7 in order to feel loved and appreciated. He just wants someone by his side who cares about him and shows it every once in a while.

If you liked those songs, they’re all right here in one convenient place: in the mood for rob thomas

Also, if you have any other interpretations of the songs or just want to talk about how great Rob Thomas is, feel free to leave a comment. Please note, however, that I will not allow any anti-Rob Thomas bigotry!

-Jeston

Follow me: @DoHpodcast and @JestonTexeira

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