The Great Unknown
Rob Thomas (Emblem/Atlantic) Two stars
Taken at face value, could there be a less apt album title than The Great Unknown for a Rob Thomas record in 2015? The Matchbox Twenty frontman's third solo album is exactly what you expect it would be. For Thomas fans, this will probably be a satisfying collection of tracks. For anyone looking for something new or adventurous, attention would be better turned elsewhere. Lead single Trust You won't get the clubs popping, but it's a respectable attempt at a banger. Much more pleasant is the Paul McCartney-esque strum-along Hold on Forever. The title track is also pretty enough. Thomas can still write a good song, but this is mostly a record overstuffed with please-everyone synth beats, with no apparent reason to exist except to exist. You have to wonder what place Thomas, the solo artist, has in the pop landscape nearly 20 years (yeah, you're old) into his recording career. He's rich, famous and doesn't seem to have anything personal or insightful to tell us about himself here. The Great Unknown will fill a void for diehard fans, but that's about it.