Holy shirtballs, how come no one told me Matchbox Twenty had a new album out? Or – OR – that is also was a start to finish foot stomper? This is a watershed moment for the band, it is for MB20 what American Idiot was for Green Day, a moment that us reminds of what the band can be like when they’re firing on all cylinders and focused on being the best version of themselves.
Where the Light Goes has floored me. It’s just one more unexpected present from 2023 that I did not expect to receive. There’s simply not a single weak track on this album, and for reasons unclear to me, there’s a serious lack of coverage for this album. Rolling Stone, PopMatters, and Pitchfork have nothing to say about the album, for some perplexing reason.
The lyrics might not win any awards, but from start to finish, the album seems hell-bent on putting a smile on the face of listeners, and infusing them with a feeling of hope and the strength to push through to tomorrow. The album is almost ruthlessly optimistic and cheerful with the exception of perhaps two tracks (I Know Better, Selling Faith), but goddamn if this album isn’t like a thunderous charge of a thousand torch-lit horses racing against the dark.
I did not see this coming, nor did I remotely expect this foot stomper to jump off a goddamn lightning bolt-riding unicorn and slap me in the face. This is one of the best pop-rock albums of 2023.