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Song Debut: “Ever the Same” by Rob Thomas

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Yes it’s true that I believe
I’m weaker than I used to be
I wear my heart out on my sleeve
Oh, and I forget the rest of me

So begins “Stop” by matchbox twenty, from their album Mad Season. And these lyrics come to mind when I consider Rob Thomas’ solo song “Ever the Same.”

The song hasn’t been released yet; I attended a benefit on August 3rd at which Thomas debuted the song as one that will be featured on his first solo album, which is expected late this year or early in 2005. I’ve thought a lot about “Ever the Same” since hearing it. I want very badly to like it, because I like Thomas and admire his talent. He’s a fantastic songwriter, and he has the voice to support his music besides.

So saying, I still can’t manage to enjoy “Ever the Same.”

The song is a pseudo-love song in which the singer (in this case, Thomas) outlines a desire to work through the tough times with his loved one (wife Marisol?). . . An admirable enough goal, one might suppose. But the song comes off as mostly sappy, and it’s opening image–of soldiers “falling down under the pale moonlight”–conjures more of Saving Private Ryan than warmth. So the song suffers this odd juxtaposition that, for lack of any other way to say it, just doesn’t work for me.

“Ever the Same” is too emotionally heavy for me. Or maybe I just can’t sympathize. Good music speaks to the listener, and the listener identifies because the song conveys a shared experience, a universal. Or, if the experience isn’t shared, the song makes it possible for the listener to feel what the singer is expressing, even without having ever been in the same position.

But “Ever the Same”–the title of which is an expression of unchanging love–merely comes across as naive. There’s just something about “Ever the Same,” that while sweet and heart-felt, doesn’t ring quite true. Which sets the song back.

Thomas is wearing his heart on his sleeve–and he’s weaker than he used to be. As a fan, I know he’s got stronger stuff in him. I only hope it surfaces in time for his solo album.

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  • Rick

    The song is about his feelings toward his wife and a message to her during a major health crisi she underwent, and their relationship during this troubled time — it is not merely a love song

  • bossman

    Yes, this is a love song. It can also be a great song for reaching out to those in need. Being there for someone in a big way is love no matter what degree. This song does have a romantic touch.

  • J

    Not to be confrontational at all but perhaps it may be you who is naive. This song touched me almost right away and I certainly did relate to it almost instantly. It is a love song the way that love is in one of the deepest ways. Talking about falling down together and asking how another wants you to be are questions that define what a relationship can withstand. What happens when a relationship comes upon some intense pressure? Are the people involved expressing the same sentiments sung about in “Ever the Same?” This song has brought me to tears and I am still amazed as to how this song captures such private and indescribable emotions through the lyrics, song-writing, and harmonization in the singing…

  • A

    I couldn’t agree with J more. This song is about the deepest aspects of a relationship. From times that were good, and times that are now rocky and how the relationship can withstand.
    This song touches the deepest parts of a strong relationship like a laser beam.

  • http://Hoosier87 Montgomery

    i agree with all, especially with bossman. to me, this song touched me b/c it instantaneously conjured recent TOUGH times in my relationship with my father…his bouts with panic attacks, alcohol and drug abuse in my early years…and now my subsequent experience with panic attacks, my troubles with asthma on top of it, leading myself to Rx abuse.
    i agree this song does have an obvious romantic theme; however, for me, i can relate many of the sentiments to my unchanging love for my father and his for me. and like bossman said, it’s about reaching out and helping…being there for someone IN A BIG WAY. great song in my opinion.

  • Amy

    “Ever the same” is from the heart, I don’t know why critics are mutilating the song. It has a mellow and soothing beat. A very caring and gentle melody.

  • lisa

    These lyrics are what every women wants to hear coming from the man they love. It is a love song and it is apparent how deeply he loves his wife.