The week a once-ubiquitous band rolls through town on its comeback tour is a good time to reflect on whether, why, and how much you enjoyed it in the first place. For me and Matchbox Twenty, America's most indestructible post-grunge band, those answers are "yes," "because they're so overproduced," and "much more than I used to be willing to admit," respectively. No mid-'90s success put the "post" in "post-grunge" quite like Matchbox Twenty; two years after Kurt Cobain's death, they combined alt-rock volume and angst with '80s-rock polish, and four albums later, every song sounds like grunge recorded by Phil Ramone inside an airlock. I'm supposed to dislike that, I think, but I don't — I want to bounce a quarter off that guitar tone in "If You're Gone." It's an open question as to whether they can replicate all that unnecessary polish live — does Matt Serletic tour with them? — but songs like "Bent" and "Back 2 Good" won't be the same without their obsessive-compulsive harmonies and the carefully manicured distortion and the bassoon parts, so here's hoping.
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