The Great Unknown

The Great Unknown

by Rob Thomas


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Returning to solo status after the 2012 Matchbox 20 reunion -- this time, the group didn't go on hiatus; they merely took a break while their singer pursued other projects -- Rob Thomas decided to broaden his horizons on 2015's The Great Unknown by working with a variety of different producers and collaborators this time around. Still on board in an executive producer role is Matt Serletic (the producer who's worked with Thomas for nearly 20 years), and the singer/songwriter also enlists OneRepublic mastermind Ryan Tedder and Jason Derulo/Jessie J producer Ricky Reed to give him a modern pop life. This new blood is notable on The Great Unknown, which is considerably livelier than 2009's contemplative Cradlesong. He hasn't entirely abandoned power ballads -- it's in his blood and it's something he does well, as evidenced by "Paper Dolls" and the spare, piano-anchored closer "Pieces" -- and he retains a fondness for surging, insistent anthems, the kind that fill arenas and airwaves with equal ease. There's a levity here, though, that's often absent on his albums, either on his own or with his band. Who knows what's responsible for the shift? But the lightness is palpable and welcome, whether it surfaces on the cheerfully cheesy come-on "I Think We'd Feel Good Together" or the modulated disco pulse of "Things You Said" and "Trust You," the first single from Thomas since "Smooth" that could qualify as an unabashed party. The good vibes aren't limited to tracks designed to be hits, either: there's also the sunny, skipping "Hold On Forever," the stomping beats of "Wind It Up," the pan-global exuberance of "One Shot," and the digital horn stabs of "Absence of Affection," each adding momentum and cheer to an album that deliberately side-steps many of Thomas' signature moves while still sounding unmistakably like him.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/21/2015
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0075678668319
catalogNumber: 551378
Rank: 11286

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rob Thomas   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Shaker
Glenn Berger   Tenor Saxophone
Victor Indrizzo   Percussion,Drums
Ray Parker   Guitar
Tim Pierce   Guitar
Lee Thornburg   Trumpet
Lyle Workman   Guitar
Matt Serletic   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Strings,Keyboards,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Bells,fender rhodes
Alex Arias   Synthesizer,Beat Box
Adam MacDougal   Keyboards
Brent Paschke   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar
Noel Zancanella   Bass,Drums,Keyboards
Patrick Woodward   Choir, Chorus
Jason Lader   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Strings,Keyboards
Ryan Tedder   Guitar,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Sarah Dugas   Background Vocals
Christian Dugas   Background Vocals
Ruth-Anne Cunningham   Vocals,Background Vocals
Shep Goodman   Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Ryan Dragon   Trombone
Laurence Fishburne   Vocals
Tanya Hall   Vocals,Background Vocals
Bunny Knutson   Choir, Chorus
Aidean Abounasseri   Guitar
J. Ryan Kern   Performing Ensemble
James Hovorka   Trumpet
Elijah Samuels   Saxophone

Technical Credits

John Goodmanson   Engineer
Rob Thomas   Composer,Programming
Norman Moore   Art Direction
Ria Lewerke   Art Direction
Matt Serletic   Composer,Programming,Producer,Executive Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Vocal Producer
Alex Arias   Programming,Engineer
Ryan Hewitt   Engineer
Brent Paschke   Programming
Michael Lippman   Management
Noel Zancanella   Composer,Programming,Producer
John Hanes   Engineer
Aaron Accetta   Composer,Producer
Jason Lader   Programming,Modulator
Ryan Tedder   Composer,Programming,Producer
Afhsin Shahidi   Cinematography
Shep Goodman   Composer,Producer,drum programming
Adrien Gough   Composer
James Brown   Engineer
Frank Romano   Composer
Dave Schiffman   Engineer
Sean Oakley   Engineer
Joe Costable   Engineer
Yonatan Ayal   Programming
Rich Rich   Engineer
Ricky Reed   Composer,Programming,Producer
Nick Lippman   Management
Henry Walter   Composer
Phillip Harder   Video Stills

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