Verdict: 4 / 5
We all know of one or two bands like this. You’ve heard their names before; you know they’ve been around for several years, with several albums out. You’re pretty sure you know what type of music they play, but none of your friends know much more about them either, so you can’t really ask them either. If it came down to it, you’re not sure you could even name one of their singles. Matchbox Twenty was one of those bands for me, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve finally gotten to know their music.
Many people consider Pop music to inherently be sell-out music; mindless and safe, palatable and sellable to the masses. After all, Pop does stand for Popular. But at some stage, we all need to accept that Pop is a genre in its own rights, and North is an example of a Pop album that understands that role. It can be fun and sweet at times without being saccharine and fluff-filled; it hosts genuinely catchy tracks. Any of the tracks on the album feel as though they could be released as individual singles.
[pullquote_left]Matchbox Twenty have been going since 1995, so it’s nice to see how far experience can carry you; they understand what music they make, and they’ve nearly perfected the formula of creating it.[/pullquote_left]Matchbox Twenty have been going since 1995, so it’s nice to see how far experience can carry you; they understand what music they make, and they’ve nearly perfected the formula of creating it. Even now, many days after listening to tracks such as “She’s so Mean” and “English Town” the choruses are still swimming around my head. The band also have a nice quality that lets them defy geographic placement; at times I thought they were definitely British; on one or two tracks they even sounded a little like Just Jinger. Despite this, they are indeed American.
North is a great album, something to really enjoy on those long car drives, and I have definitely learned why Matchbox Twenty have stuck around all these years.