I, like everyone else, got sick of Matchbox 20 real fast. Hearing “Push” and “3 AM” at all hours of the day and night wore me to pieces. It got even worse when Rob paired up with Carlos Santana for “Smooth”, which won a bajillion Grammy Awards and was #1 for, like, a year. Then something happened.

Rob improved by leaps and bounds as a singer and a songwriter. Matchbox’s second and third albums were superior examples of pop songcraft, and Thomas started to sound…almost soulful. Then, inevitably, Thomas went solo. His debut album “…Something to Be”, had a few nice ballads, but his songwriting wasn’t always on the “A” game (it’s still worth getting if you can find it cheap). He returned to his band for a greatest hits album, and now he’s back for solo Round 2.

The new album’s called “Cradlesong”, it comes out June 30th, and if you hear Rob tell it, will have some sort of experimental flair to it. He mentioned Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints” as an influence, which made me shudder a little bit, but I think as long as he doesn’t lose his gift for melody, he’ll at least be worth checking out. Anyway, the first single is called “Her Diamonds”, and while it’s not “If You’re Gone” or “Bright Lights” or “Ever the Same”, it’s still pretty decent. Check it out.