Matchbox Twenty (originally Matchbox 20, also shortened to MB20) is an American rock band, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1995. The group currently comprises Rob Thomas (lead vocals, piano), Paul Doucette (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Brian Yale (bass guitar), Kyle Cook (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Ryan Macmillan (drums, percussion).
Matchbox Twenty rose to international fame with their debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You (1996), which was certified diamond in the United States and multi-platinum in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Their second album, Mad Season, released in 2000, charted in the top three on the Billboard 200 and was certified 4× platinum in the United States. Their third album, More Than You Think You Are, released in 2002, was certified double platinum in the United States. However, it was not as successful as the previous two albums, despite its singles receiving significant airplay.
The band then went on hiatus in 2004, and rhythm guitarist Adam Gaynor left the band in 2005, after performing on the first three studio albums. As a result, Paul Doucette took over rhythm guitar, and the band reunited and released a compilation album, Exile on Mainstream, in 2007, which was certified gold in the United States. After the release, former Push Stars drummer Ryan Macmillan filled Doucette's vacated drum spot. Matchbox Twenty then took another hiatus, but reunited again in 2011. Their fourth album, North, was released in September 2012, with the single "She's So Mean.” They followed it up in 2023 with their fifth album, Where The Light Goes.
- Yourself or Someone Like You (1996)
- "Long Day"
- "Push" (#5)
- "3 am" (#3)
- "Real World" (#38)
- "Back 2 Good" (#24)
- "Girl Like That"
- Mad Season (2000)
- "Bent" (#1)
- "If You're Gone" (#5)
- "Mad Season" (#48)
- "Last Beautiful Girl" (#113)
- More Than You Think You Are (2002)
- "Disease" (#29)
- "Unwell" (#5)
- "Bright Lights" (#23)
- "All I Need"
- Exile on Mainstream (2007; part-EP, part-Greatest Hits Album)
- "How Far We've Come" (#11)
- "All Your Reasons"
- "These Hard Times" (#112)
- North (2012)
- "She's So Mean" (#40)
- "Put Your Hands Up"
- Where the Light Goes (2023)
- "Wild Dogs (Running in a Slow Dream)"
- "Don’t Get Me Wrong"
- Author Appeal: As mentioned on the Rob Thomas page, Rob's a fan of African-American choir vocals. A choir's featured pretty prominently on "Downfall."
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: Rob Thomas has a tendency to use forms of the word "reasons" in his lyrics.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Subverted with "Push," which is from the perspective of an angry woman taking out her deep-seated anger on her male partner. Zig-zagged with "She's So Mean," which is played more jokey, but the girl in question is clearly a bitch.
- Greatest Hits Album: The majority of Exile On Mainstream; the first six (or seven depending on release format) songs were new ones.
- In the Style of: "She's So Mean" is made to sound like a '60s pop/rock tune, most notably "Do Wah Diddy."
- Living Emotional Crutch: On "crutch" I don't wanna be the crutch, one step away from down.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- "3 A.M."'s music is catchy and somewhat upbeat. It's actually, however, about Rob's time of confusion as a preteen/teenager while his mother was sick with cancer.
- "Push", a little ditty about abusive relationships.
- "She's So Mean", a sing-along song about unhealthy relationships.
- "Unwell", about feeling alone and messed up.
- "How Far We've Come", an upbeat song about the impending end of the world. Or so the protagonist believes.
- Motor Mouth: Rob can get this way sometimes. Examples include "Hand Me Down," the chorus of "Busted." Heck, "3 AM" and "Crutch" slips in and out of it, too.
- They arguably changed sounds with each album. Yourself was straight-ahead post-grunge with some hints of arena rock, save for a couple of acoustic songs here and there. Mad Season had a lot more pop elements and wider instrumentation, and More Than You Think You Are seemed to fall somewhere in between the two - leaning slightly more toward arena rock. North is closer to the pop sound of Mad Season but brings in a couple more genre influences, including Power Pop.
- Precision F-Strike: Other than some mild oaths ("damn", "hell", and the like), Matchbox Twenty's lyrics - their radio singles in particular - have been pretty clean. But "Long Day" (from their first album) gives us this one:I'm sorry 'bout the attitude I need to give when I'm with you
'cause no one else would take this shit from me
- Another in "She's So Mean": "You better get your shit together, 'cause she's bringing you down now!"
- Shout-Out: The line "every little thing you do is tragic" in "Disease".
- Stalker with a Crush: "Disease"I can't live without you
Tell me what I am supposed to do about it
Keep your distance from me / Don't pay no attention to me
I got a disease
- Self-Deprecation: The majority of the video for "Bent" lampooned Rob Thomas's sudden fame from his appearance in Santana's "Smooth" by having all manner of misfortune happen to him during the video.
- Rob in particular has a good sense of humor about himself, like when he talked about his weight problems when he briefly had a cocaine problem."I think I have to be the first rock star who started doing drugs and actually gained weight."
- He also likes telling a story about being in a shopping mall at their height of the band's fame and someone shouting at him from the balcony "THIRD EYE BLIND SUCKS!" He just sort of shrugged in agreement.
- Rob in particular has a good sense of humor about himself, like when he talked about his weight problems when he briefly had a cocaine problem.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Guitarist Kyle Cook gets features on North with "The Way" and on Where The Light Goes with "I Know Better."
- Those Two Guys: Rob Thomas and Paul Doucette are best friends in real life, so they appear on a lot of panels and do a lot of interviews together.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Cold" drops one in after the bridge with almost no apparent setup.
- Vocal Evolution: On Yourself or Someone Like You, Rob Thomas's vocal style was much less polished and frankly featured a lot of controlled shouting (see "Back 2 Good" and "Busted", for example). As his songwriting evolved, his vocal versatility evolved with it.