Popcraft Incarnate

Cradlesong (Atlantic)
Rob Thomas

By Hunter Embry

The pop music scene is and will always be cluttered with fake, pieced-together artists molded by industry decision makers. So-called artists with little to no talent can make it a long way if equipped with a pretty face and surrounded by the right people. Rob Thomas is privileged enough to have both, along with an intelligent songwriting craft and voice to match. Thomas is the real deal.

Each of the 14 songs on Thomas's latest release, Cradlesong, has differing cross-cultured rhythms and melodies that become fastened by the singer's range-stretching voice. "Give Me The Meltdown" stands out immediately with its rumbling bass line, quick, high-ended guitar chords and Thomas' low-toned lyrical melody all shyly reminiscent of late '80s, early '90s pop-rock navigators INXS.

The comparisons continue with "Real World '09" when the fast-paced, electro-sounding drum beat mix with Thomas's similarly-tempoed vocals to create a modernized Counting Crows-meets-Blues Traveler type feel.

"Fire on the Mountain," with its heavy tribal-esque drums and delayed, reverb-drenched guitar hints at the monumental sounds of U2. But still, even with all the little reminders of past pop success, each song on Cradlesong seems to fit in a league all its own a large section of pop music created by Thomas.

Get more over at robthomasmusic.com.