With his caesar haircut and perma-frown, former Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas takes himself pretty seriously. Too seriously, to be honest. The guy's got a voice that just cracks with heartache, especially when he's singing about being lonely at 3 a.m., and this, his second solo album, is another collection of dour love songs. It commences with "Her Diamonds," a tune that sparkles only when the backing choir kicks in to sing the refrain toward its end. The same goes for the dreary "Someday," a tepid rocker that keeps the aforementioned choir in check. "Mockingbird" has a bit more kick to it and doesn't seem so constipated. But wallowing tunes such as "Gasoline" ("I tried so hard to give you what you need but it burned like gasoline") and "Give Me the Meltdown" ("lay down here close to me and pretend you're never leaving me") are the norm here, making Cradlesong a real dismal listen. — Jeff Niesel
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