Rob Thomas: The Great Unknown

Reliable pop rocker doesn't disappoint on solo album

Credit: Ben Watts

Don't let the title fool you: 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. Reunited with Matchbox Twenty producer Matt Serletic, Thomas piles on the hooks right from the opener, "I Think We'd Feel Good Together," a soulful come-on. Even catchier is "Hold On Forever" — it's pure acoustic-guitar bliss. Elsewhere, the title tune is an atmospheric ballad about "driving through the valley of the great unknown." With Thomas at the wheel, you can trust the journey.