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Matchbox 20, Wallflowers, Jazz For Everyone

Matchbox Twenty – Mad Season

Follow-up to their wildly popular Yourself Or Someone Like You (from back when they called themselves Matchbox 20), this album is simply more competent pop rock and Rob Thomas’ recognizeable voice. It’s fun. Well-written songs. One thing I did notice was in the booklet, it seems to be the Rob Thomas show. It’s him first, and him as the primary focus in all the group shots. But off the top of your head, can you name anyone else in the band? Me neither.

Wallflowers – Bringing Down The Horse

Much was made of Jakob being Bob Dylan’s son, and I felt bad for the guy. Was this strong enough to establish himself without the name? I’d say yes. The record is split between maybe trying to capture a bit of the old man anyway (lyrically, those black and white pics in the liner notes) but the songs are different enough to stand alone. Hits like One Headlight, 6th Avenue Heartache, and The Difference helped, but I can play this thing all the way through and it’s solid top to bottom.

Wallflowers – (Breach)

Four years later, Jakob drops his Tom Petty album. Yes, it sounds a lot like Bringing Down The Horse, but reimagined as if Petty was involved (especially Hand Me Down, Sleepwalker). It’s not a bad thing, just distracting. It’s still a decent record, good for a road trip when you want tunes you can have on but not necessarily hang on every word. And if ever there were a backhanded compliment or three in such a short blurb…

Various – Jazz For Everyone (2CD)

I love these budget releases, this one from a company called Super Doubles. Why? It’s a great, cheap way to get all sorts of great tunes. I got this set for $2, so I’m even ahead of whatever it would originally have cost! The sound quality is surprisingly good, and the song selection is excellent, though it’s pretty damned hard to miss with names like Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Lena Horne, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Coleman Hawkins… you get the idea. Highly enjoyable for me! I could listen to stuff like this all day long.

Big Green Tractor Raining Down On 6th Avenue

My infant son likes watching tractor videos on Youtube. And we stumbled on Jason Aldean’s ‘Big Green Tractor’ from an album called Wide Open. It’s your typical y’alternative fare, but holy crap does the intro to that song sound like Phil Collins’ ‘I Wish It Would Rain Down.’ Either that or the Wallflowers’ ‘6th Avenue Heartache.’ Or many others, surely. Must be a popular chord structure. Just sayin’.

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