Is it okay to like Rob Thomas?

Lately I’ve been repeatedly asking myself the same question: is it okay to like Rob Thomas?

And by “okay,” I don’t mean is it “cool,” because honestly, I couldn’t care less about being “cool.” What I mean is, is Rob Thomas talented enough on his own, without the rest of Matchbox 20, to constitute a fan base?

This is something I have been debating for almost half a decade, which is a considerable portion of my life since I am just barely 21.

I’ve always been a fan of Matchbox 20 in passing. If I heard them on the radio I didn’t change the station, their hits from the ‘90s are on my iTunes and on my iPod. I don’t own any complete Matchbox 20 albums (which I suppose is because in their hay day I was in middle school and didn’t exactly have disposable income), but I like them.

Now when Rob Thomas came out with his first solo album, “…Something To Be,” in 2005 I was skeptical. Why? Because I liked Matchbox 20 and usually solo careers do two things: 1. kill the original band and 2. fail miserably,

I bought the album nonetheless, mostly because I really like the song “This is How a Heart Breaks” and the song “Ever The Same” is what I would consider fantastic song writing. It’s deep and moving yet applicable and accessible to the masses. It’s poppy, it’s popular, but it works because you know what? Rob Thomas can write a damn good song.

So, his solo career didn’t fail like I thought. I expect this may have something to do with his dashing good looks and boyish charm. Not to mention his acoustic guitar playing abilities, the manly tattoos and that moppy head of dirty blonde hair. Sigh. We are nothing if not shallow here in America, but it’s okay, because at least Rob Thomas is a good looking guy who is talented unlike some artists who are nothing more than big boobs or rippling muscles which try to make up for their minimal talent, but I digress.

ANYWAY, Rob Thomas’ second solo album just came out on June 30. It’s called “Cradlesong” which is fitting because it’s a lot less in your face than his first solo attempt. I’m not as impressed with the song writing on this album as I was on the first one or with his Matchbox 20 endeavors but the first single, “Her Diamonds,” is probably one of the best songs on the album. It’s smooth, it’s sweet, it’s everything an album-leading first single should be.

Despite my not liking the album as much as his first it’s already hit number 3 on the U.S. singles chart.

Yet, in light of me liking his song writing, his looks and his musical talent I still found myself not fully understanding why I liked him so much. It still blew my mind that this relatively low key recording artist could have such a profound effect on the music I decided to like.

Then I saw this and this and it hit me.

Rob Thomas is not only talented and good looking, but he’s funny, he has a sense of humor, and even more so, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. (Plus, have you SEEN his guest spot with Sinbad on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Hilarious!)

I like Rob Thomas because I can RELATE to him and he’s the kind of guy I’d want to go out, have a few beers and be FRIENDS with.

He is talented, he is good looking and he has a personality that doesn’t, by definition, suck.

So it seems that I have finally answered the question I’ve been asking myself since 2005. Yes, it is okay to like Rob Thomas.

Rolling Stone review of “Cradlesong” which I think sums up the album perfectly.

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