The madness behind it all
Angry -A midtempo, jangly song reminiscent of the BoDeans. "This was kind of me being sarcastic about the whole anger thing, and I'm trying to pat myself on the back about being a bigger man when I'm really not. It's me fighting with myself," says Thomas. "I wanted it to open the record because it seemed like if our songs were a train, it would connect to the last [album] and make one continuous record."
Black and White People -Horn-propelled pop pleasure written by Thomas eight years ago. "Part of me is just so glad this song is on the record," says Thomas. "When we did the last record, we didn't know what to do with it. It needed its own time to grow."
Crutch -A rush of words poured out of a relationship that left one partner feeling bitter and used. " I made it more universal," says Thomas, "but it's about my old guitar players from my last band. It's kind of my big finger to them. It's probably one of my favorites."
Last Beautiful Girl -Reflections on a relationship gone bad and a girl who knew all the right things to say at all the wrong times. Cool, '70s-style backing vocals surround the midtempo track."
If You're Gone -"I wrote this right after I met my wife," says Thomas. "We were separated for a few weeks and were on the phone all the time, and I was thinking, 'I met this wonderful person,' and I wondered if everything I was going through [with matchbox twenty's success] was going to make it too crazy to build a relationship."
Mad Season -The song took on a more universal tone but was originally about the wild ride that the band has been on since success hit, says Thomas. "The whole idea came from our mad season," he says. "It has nothing to do with being bad, it's just crazy. There are not handbooks for any of this."
Rest Stop -Written from the woman's point of view, this is about her having to end the relationship before she "loses her nerve." And the man's sad realization that she sees all his faults despite his efforts to hide them. "This is actually a true story," says Thomas. "I was hitchhiking to Daytona [Fla.] and met a woman, and I just wound up staying with her and her friends. She was driving me back, and she stopped somewhere in the middle of the night to wake me up and let me out about three miles from a rest stop."
The Burn -Vague track about just not having the energy to pull it all together and wondering why that bolt of ambition, "the burn," never hit.
Bent -About as optimistic a song as there is on the album "Bent" is a lover's plea that his intended help him through life. "It's a love song and a rock song; there's a hopeful tone to it," says Thomas. "It's kind of like the person is saying, 'As misguided as I may be, these are the things that it takes to be with me.'"
Bed Of Lies -Beautiful layered ballad about a wrenching lover's spat. "I was originally hearing this as a Bonnie Raitt song," says Thomas. "Matt was putting on the verses, and it took on this Peter Gabriel-esque turn."
Leave -Quiet ballad about the exact moment when the relationship goes sour and all that's left is the heartache.
Stop -Driving rocker about being fed up and scared and just ready to shed all the troubles.
You Won't Be Mine -Sultry, lean, jazzy number that highlights Thomas' voice and swells to include a 68-piece orchestra.
All songs are written by Rob Thomas. He co-wrote "Last Beautiful Girl" and "Bed of Lies" with the "Mad Season by matchbox twenty" producer, Matt Serletic, and "Stop" with Paul Doucette, the band's drummer.