13: Yourself or Someone Like You (Matchbox 20)

Album: Yourself or Someone Like You
Artist: Matchbox 20
Year: 1996

1. Real World
2. Long Day
3. 3 A.M.
4. Push
5. Girl Like That
6. Back 2 Good
7. Damn
8. Argue
9. Kody
10. Busted
11. Shame
12. Hang

This album was released on my sixteenth birthday. I was in an abusive relationship when that person bought me this album. Push resonated with me more than any song ever had before. It still means a lot to me, as does this album, as it helped me through the hardest time in my life. In addition to Push, Argue also resonated with me. “We get along so we shouldn’t argue,” rolled through my head a lot.

There is so much genuine anger pulsating through these songs. It’s obvious that Rob Thomas was in a dark place while recording this. Long Day and 3 A.M. struck a chord with my teenage angst. He wrote 3 A.M. as a teenager as a coping mechanism while his mother was struggling with cancer.  Girl Like That is repetitive but continues the emotional impact from Push quite nicely.

I’m not a huge fan of the singles Real World or Back 2 Good.  Damn is pretty banal, and Busted is really painful to listen to. All reasons the album falls out of my top ten despite what it means to me.

Kody, Shame, and Hang are all considerably more low key, but also considerably depressing. I think Thomas blew his wad with this album. While his music skills improved as he went along, his writing became more pop-friendly and less inspired.  But I have little doubt that Yourself or Someone Like You will still resonate with me in thirty years.


9 thoughts on “13: Yourself or Someone Like You (Matchbox 20)”

  1. Another great album. It’s cool that you have such a strong emotional connection to it (though not necessarily a pleasant one!) I also don’t care much for Busted or Damn, but I have a lot of love for Real World.

  2. When I worked at The Ground Round, we used a DMX station that only had an hour’s worth of music on it before it started over. About a year after I started working there, the station we used stopped being updated, but our management didn’t want to pay for a new one or go through the annoyance of making the call to do so, and the same hour of music played for the entire three remaining years that I worked there.

    So, I have heard 3 A.M. over five thousand times.

      1. I can’t remember if there were any songs that I liked at the beginning. When I hear any of the 15-20 songs on it, I immediately get annoyed as if I’m still right there in that world. “I Hope You Dance” was on it. In fact, the majority of it was made up of pop love ballads, so there probably wasn’t much that I liked even initially.

  3. Push is the tops for sure on this one. I have always enjoyed singing along with Real World though, and my second favorite on the album is Back 2 Good. I was floored when I found out it was on the same album…released nearly two years later.

    I love the bridge(?) on this song (“everyone here has shades of shame” section) and will belt it out. This is one of the songs though that I prefer the radio cut to the album version. Much like Crash by DMB and Everything I Do by Bryan Adams, they go on past the natural end of the song. The bridge feels powerful the first time through. It was a great climax to the song and repeating it makes no sense and totally takes away from it.

    1. It’s been so long since I heard the radio cut that I didn’t even think about it when reviewing the album. When I reviewed Pieces of You I had to listen to the radio edits to remember how drastically they changed all of Jewel’s songs before releasing them. Agree on your two examples. I love most of DMB’s jams, but that’s one song that should have stopped sooner.

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