Picks and Pans Review: No Doubting Thomas

updated 07/06/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/06/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Cradlesong |

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He threw his matchbox twenty bandmates a bone by returning for a 2007 greatest-hits disc. Now Rob Thomas gets back to his burgeoning solo career. Like Something to Be, his 2005 solo debut, Cradlesong is about as solid as pop-rock gets. While there's nothing revolutionary about Thomas—and he certainly doesn't take any chances by again enlisting longtime matchbox producer Matt Serletic—he's a first-class craftsman who knows how to bust out the hooks. Highlights include the calypso-tinged "Hard on You" and the first single "Her Diamonds," with its facets of African and gospel music.

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