Album Review: Rob Thomas ‘Chip Tooth Smile’

Four years since The Great Unknown was released, Rob Thomas is back with another fantastic solo record! Rob first got onto the music scene as the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty, releasing such hits as “3am,” “If You’re Gone,” and “How Far We’ve Come.”  He collaborated with Santana in 1999 to produce the hit single “Smooth,” which went on to win three Grammy awards! In 2005, Rob released his first solo record, Something To Be, proving he can be just as successful, talented and creative on his own.

Album Cover courtesy of Atlantic Records

Rob Thomas’ fourth record as a solo artist, Chip Tooth Smile, shows that he never stops growing as an artist.  His songs can equally throw back to earlier decades and remind you of some of his earlier hits, as well as fit into these modern times. The lyrics can move you, spark something you can relate to, or simply get you to dance to the beat. There is quite truly, a little something for everyone!

One Less Day (Dying Young)

The first track and single off the record is an upbeat and uplifting song about surviving each day and living life to its fullest. The message is one that reminds us to not take our time here for granted, and each new day is one day closer to when we leave this earth. Laced with a catchy beat, this will sure be a single that will get folks to sing along!

Timeless

This is the song I completely nerd out to! First there is the rad intro melody that somehow manages to be a throwback to the 80’s yet still be current. Second, is the lyrics. At first listen, you might think the lyrics are simply telling a story about a timeless love. But if you pay attention, the lyrics are laced with several 80’s song references. Those references manage to seamlessly mix in. It is the absolute best thing ever, and the reason I am hoping it is the next single released. This is a song that is fun to listen to, fun to sing along to, and fun to figure out all the references. I cannot help but imagine an equally fun pop-up video pointing out all them out.

Can’t Help Me Now

This song is all about being down and maybe a little hopeless, but that is not a bad thing. Just like we all cannot have perfect days every day, the songs we listen to should reflect that.  “You’re the one who talks me down, even you can’t help me now.” I know I have felt that way, and I can relate to the lyrics. The song emulates real life and real struggles. 

Funny

One of the most relatable tracks, the lyrics of the song cover that no matter how wrong life goes or even how right, everything works out. Because “life is funny that way.” Even when you think nothing will work out, it somehow does, and you would do it all over again just to wind up where you are right now. I absolutely love the message of this song!

I Love It

This is the song that will make you get up and dance, even if you are like me and really probably should not. Just pretend no one is watching and let loose! More than just a killer beat that you cannot help but groove to, this song makes you feel good. Dance club, party, workout mix, or just a song to lift you up, ‘I Love It’ is perfect!

The Man to Hold the Water

A beautiful, melodic ballad, this track is all about being there for the ones you love.  The song paints a picture of being beside someone as we go through life’s journey, following them wherever that may lead.  This is a song that could easily be released on country radio, as well. The simple, beautiful lyrics mixed with the twang of a guitar solo would fit in with any country hit in the radio now seamlessly.

We Were Beautiful

This song can relate to many things, such as the earlier days of a relationship or maybe just your own younger days. “We were beautiful when were young.” It feels like a reminder and throwback to easier, simpler times during current, more difficult times. The lyrics flow in a way that feels like a poem that has been backed by instruments, bringing the words to life like magic. “Can you picture that?”

It’s Only Love

This track starts stripped down, showcasing the beautiful melody of the piano and Rob’s soulful tone and lyrics. As the tempo picks up and instruments are added, it lifts the song up more.  To me, the lyrics remind me that even if things end or there is heartbreak, as long as there is love, everything will be okay. Even if the only thing you have is love.

Early in the Morning

This is easily one of my favorite tracks on Chip Tooth Smile. This is a track that will make you feel like you can take on the world, or simply find the motivation you need to keep going. This is the song you should listen to if you need that energy to move and take on the day. That message is mixed with a sexy melody and an awesome beat that moves through you and motivates you just as much as the lyrics will. It is a powerful song, and my favorite line to come out of it is, “and I scream out loud while the demons that I chase strike me down without a warning, but I will win this morning.”

The Worst in Me

“The Worst in Me” is another catchy rhythm mixed with a wee bit of heartbreak.  A song that tackles fighting and arguing, the lyrics ironically say, “the worst in me, could bring out the best in you.” Just like “I Love It” will make you dance, this one will make you sing you along. This is certainly the one I find myself humming along to.

Tomorrow

This is one of my favorite rhythms on the album. I love the juxtaposition of a slower melody and the fast, uptempo lyrics of the verses.  I, also, love how the heartbreak songs always have a way of sounding upbeat. Even if you relate to the lyrics, the beat will make sure you will not feel sad for long.

Breathe Out

I find myself listening to this one a lot. We have all dealt with stress, anxiety, and frustration, and we sometimes forget to pause and remember to take a deep breath. This song will certainly remind you. As someone who meditates and has learned to take a deep breath when needed, the line “breath out, breathe in, breath out again” is the perfect timing to practice with (inhale to the count of four, pause, breathe out to the count of four.) I have no idea if it was intended that way, but it is perfectly clever! It also makes this such a calming final track. Just breathe along to the song and remember everything will be okay.

Courtesy of Atlantic Records

Be sure to check out this incredible album. It is completely worth it!  Also, be sure to watch the music video for “One Less Day (Dying Young),” available now!

Melanie

When Melanie isn’t writing for Nerds and Beyond, she’s doing her best to make professional fangirl a thing. She loves writing fan fiction, drawing fan art, reading comics and binge-watching like it’s a professional sport. Her list of fandoms just keep growing, and will always cite Supernatural and Psych as her first forays into fangirldom. Though Nancy Drew will always be her first real fandom. Melanie works hard at making her art a career and has dreams of becoming a published author someday. You can find her on Twitter @FangirlLanie.

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