'Yourself or Someone Like You' by Matchbox 20, 1996, Lava Records. Cover: a bit odd. A moody black & white of the band is inside, as well as a few other atmospheric photos. Lyrics included.
If you don't listen to the words, this album is upbeat & has a groove to it. Matchbox 20 likes to play around with the themes of loneliness & being broken & dirty. There's a lot of dissatisfaction & being too aware of one's own flaws. Anger also plays a large role, which is suitable for Rob Thomas' voice as well as the grinding guitar of Kyle Cook.
Many of the songs are singable, particularly track one, 'Real World,' 'Push,' & '3 a.m.' 'Real World' is also especially relatable, about a man who wonders what it would be like to be someone who can make a difference. 'Push' is about a couple who's hoping their bad times will change (even though they themselves won't), & 'Back 2 Good' is about a man having an affair & regretting it; the kinds of pain Matchbox 20 explores are familiar & diverse.
This is an album filled with anger and hurt, but the driving rhythms are chipper enough that you won't feel emotionally crushed after listening to it. Rob Thomas wrote all the songs except for three, for which he had help. Obviously, this is a guy who's been through a lot. But we all know pain makes for great art, & this album proves it.
Note: some strong language as well as sexual language.