This is one of those albums that I looked forward to most in 2012. Matchbox Twenty has since their debut "Yourself or Someone Like You" been a favorite band with stable and well-made releases. Think that it is a great pity that they did not make more than four studio albums in sixteen years and nothing since "More Than You Think You Are" from 2002. This is of course due to Rob Thomas was eager to go solo after the success of Santana and released two rather boring solo albums.
"North" produced once again by Matt Serlectic sounds like the previous albums with clever pop / rock in a neat radio format. It is extremely well done and the band has written a good collection of tracks, not that unexpectedly. The opening "Parade" is magical with its arena-sounding format and is one of the band's best songs ever.
However, as always, they deliver the band a bunch more danceable tracks that I do not like at all. Tracks like "Put Your hands Up", "Radio" and "Our Song" feels too superficial and I do not really want to dance to this talented rock bands.
So it's a bit up and down as usual with a bunch of really good tracks and a number of tracks that they could have replaced. But after all, it is a good album that you should check out if you like what they've done before.
Pearl Jam´s first name was "Mookie Blaylock" after the All-Star basketball player, but the name was changed to "Pearl Jam" due to trademark concerns. Vocalist Eddie Vedder claimed in an early interview that the name was a reference to his great-grandmother Pearl. In 2006 guitarist Mike McCready said that bass player Jeff Ament came up with "Pearl" and that "Jam" was added after seeing Neil Young live.