This album is a solid gold nugget of my nostalgia. Meaning, when it is late at night and I am messing around online and looking at old pictures and feeling some sort of manic-hyper-creative-nostalgic emotions already and absolutely any song from this album happens to play on my iTunes shuffle I think to myself, "Hot damn! This is it, man," and I feel so happy, like I am sixteen and it is late at night and I am messing around online and looking at pictures, which is what I did every night, and feeling some sort of manic-hyper-creative emotions, which is what I felt all the time when I was sixteen. Most nights nowadays I force myself to stay up until 11 or so even though I could probably gladly fall asleep much earlier and then I read the paper in bed for awhile and it's lights out. This routine makes me happy most of the time but still, thank God I still have some manic late nights where I forget everything else except for music and pictures and contemplating my life and enjoying being alone with my nostalgia. Anyway, the truth is, whether or not Matchbox 20 may be the epitome of mediocrity to some folks, this album is a solid gold nugget to me with or without the nostalgia, and that even today when I hear those first few chords of Push I get chills, no joke. I freaking love that song and always will. I don't know why Rob Thomas wants to push someone around so desperately, or what half of the angry lyrics even mean, but I love every second of it and how he says "chya" in Like I'm a little untrusting when I think that the truth is gonna hurt chya and when I sing along when I'm driving alone in my car to one of the goshdarn wonderful radio stations around here which may very well regularly play random tunes like Push and I sing I want to take you for grantedddd, well, hot damn but it feels pretty good. And let's talk about what a good song The Real World is. Real good, that's what. Also, back in middle school I took a vacation to Florida with my dad, because you were always taking vacations to Florida when you lived on the East Coast, and I listened to this CD a lot and every now and then when I hear something off of this album I immediately feel like I am walking down some dusty dirt road surrounded by towering reeds and orange trees listening to Yourself or Someone Like You on my discman, and I am probably making this said dirt road up in my memory, but I always picture it very vividly, which is a very random and personal association but, now you all know.
Also, I really love me a good sad-sounding last track, and Hang on this record is just that track. It reminds me very much of Walkaways, the last track on Counting Crows' Recovering the Satellites (another record which, man, don't get me started). The line I've been to Boston before from Walkaways and We always said it would be good to go away someday from Hang, those speak the same feeling to me, and I don't exactly know what that feeling is, but I felt it a lot when I was sixteen.
Really, to be honest, I still pretty much like most Matchbox 20/Rob Thomas songs I hear nowadays. I don't go out and buy the albums or anything, but then again, I don't really go out and buy the albums of pretty much anything. I hear a song I like, I download it. Every now and then I'll buy a record, but they rarely really get stuck in my conscience, as an overall album, like they used to. Case in point, I did, in fact, awhile ago download How Far We've Come, because that is another rollicking fun pop song. Really, I feel somewhat amazed that Rob Thomas is still making enjoyable pop tunes. They may not change the world a whole bunch or anything, but here's the thing I've figured out: art doesn't always have to change the world. And maybe that just makes me a bad artist, but listen, if it did, you would just be exhausted all the time. And sometimes, you just wanna sing really loudly to Push while you're sitting alone in your car, and if it makes your day just 2% better, well, that is a job well done, my friend.