The Great Unknown is the third solo studio album by the Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas, released on August 21, 2015, through Atlantic Records. Its lead single, "Trust You", premiered on Entertainment Weekly on May 29, 2015.[1]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars11px11px11px11px[2]
The Boston Globepositive[3]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars11px11px11px11px[4]
New York Daily News2/5 stars11px11px11px11px[5]

The Great Unknown received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69 based on 4 reviews.[6] In a positive review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described the record as, "an album that deliberately side-steps many of Thomas' signature moves while still sounding unmistakably like him."[2] The Boston Globe's Sarah Rodman wrote that on The Great Unknown, the singer continues his career of composing, "catchy melodies, lyrics straightforward in their universality, and crisp production".[3] According to her, "Thomas is either becoming a stronger, more nuanced singer or continuing to learn how to write in a way that more effectively displays the various facets of his voice."

In a more mixed review, Chuck Arnold of Rolling Stone wrote, "Rob Thomas remains a known quantity on his third solo album. While that means there aren't many surprises, the good news is he's still the same consummate pop-rock craftsman who has been making it all sound so smooth for years."[4] Jim Farber of New York Daily News was more critical towards the album's composition and lyrics, "The songs offer few individualized lyrical details, and no consistent themes, to pin on a particular person. The arrangements, likewise, have a slick adaptability that makes these songs serviceable cover material for any pop star of the hour."[5]

Track listing

The Great Unknown – Standard edition
1."I Think We'd Feel Good Together"
Ricky Reed3:00
2."Trust You"
  • Tedder
  • Zancanella
3."Hold On Forever"ThomasMatt Serletic3:35
4."Wind It Up"ThomasSerletic3:09
5."One Shot"
  • Accetta
  • Goodman
6."The Great Unknown"ThomasSerletic3:38
7."Absence of Affection"
  • Reed
  • Thomas
8."Things You Said"ThomasSerletic3:04
9."Paper Dolls"ThomasSerletic3:04
11."Heaven Help Me"ThomasSerletic3:21
12."Lie to Me"
  • Thomas
  • Serletic
Total length:41:17


  • Aiden Abounasseri – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Alex Arias – beat box, drum programming, synthesizer
  • Yonatan Ayal – drum programming
  • Glenn Berger – tenor saxophone
  • Ruth Ann-Cunningham – background vocals
  • Ryan Dragon – trombone
  • Christian Dugas – background vocals
  • Sarah Dugas – background vocals
  • Laurence Fishburne – background vocals
  • Shep Goodman – drum programming, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, background vocals
  • La Tanya Hall – background vocals
  • James Hovorka – trumpet
  • Victor Indrizzo – drums, percussion
  • Bunny Knutson – choir
  • Jason Lader – bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, modulator, piano, drum programming, synthesizer strings, synthesizer
  • Adam MacDougal – keyboards
  • Rick Marty – electric guitar
  • Ray Parker Jr. – electric guitar
  • Brent Paschke – bass guitar, drum programming, synthesizer
  • Tim Pierce – electric guitar
  • Ricky Reed – drum programming
  • Elijah Samuels – baritone saxophone
  • Matt Serletic – bass guitar, bells, choir, Fender Rhodes, horn arrangements, keyboards, organ, percussion, piano, drum programming, string arrangements, synthesizer strings, synthesizer, background vocals
  • Ryan Tedder – drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, drum programming, background vocals
  • Rob Thomas – piano, drum programming, shaker, lead vocals, background vocals
  • Lee Thornburg – trumpet
  • Patrick Woodward – choir
  • Lyle Workman – electric guitar
  • Noel Zancanella – bass guitar, drums, keyboards, drum programming


Chart (2015) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[7] 4
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[8] 13
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[9] 13
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[10] 31
UK Albums (OCC)[11] 95
US Billboard 200[12] 6


  1. Brown, Eric Renner (2015-05-25). "Rob Thomas returns with killer single 'Trust You,' shares details of new solo album". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "The Great Unknown - Rob Thomas". AllMusic. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rodman, Sarah (August 20, 2015). "Album review: Rob Thomas, 'The Great Unknown'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Arnold, Chuck (August 21, 2015). "Rob Thomas The Great Unknown Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Farber, Jim (August 12, 2015). "'The Great Unknown' music review: Rob Thomas' latest". Daily News. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  6. "The Great Unknown, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  7. " – Rob Thomas – The Great Unknown". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  8. "Rob Thomas – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Rob Thomas. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  9. "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2015. 38. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  10. " – Rob Thomas – The Great Unknown". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  11. "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  12. "Rob Thomas – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Rob Thomas. Retrieved August 31, 2015.

External links

Template:Rob Thomas

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