The 89th Academy Awards

Rob Thomas, "Cradlesong"

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Rob Thomas is a musical chameleon. From his early hits with Matchbox Twenty to his soulful work as a solo artist, the gifted singer/songwriter has a knack for crafting memorable melodies across the musical divide. On "Cradlesong," his follow-up to 2005's "Something to Be," Thomas returns with a soaring collection of infectious pop songs that are destined for heavy rotation in 2009 and beyond. Produced by longtime collaborator Matt Serletic, "Cradlesong" is the perfect combination of '80s innocence (the Thomas Dolby-like, synthesized "Gasoline") and new-millennium isolation (the first single, "Her Diamonds"). Throughout an impressive sonic span that includes everything from the Eastern-tinged "Fire on the Mountain" to the countrified twang of the affectingly intimate "Getting Late," Thomas proves why some 15 years after bursting onto the music scene, he's still as relevant as ever; Great songs never go out of style.