“And I said baby … it’s 3 a.m., I must be lonely.” If you were anywhere within earshot of a radio or MTV in the mid-to-late 1990s, that little slice of earworm was no doubt getting stuck in your head. The culprits? Rob Thomas and his band mates in Matchbox Twenty, whose debut album, “Yourself or Someone Like You,” took pop radio by storm. Hits like the aforementioned “3AM,” “Push,” “Real World” and more pushed the sales of this album upwards of MILLIONS of copies. (It sold just over 600 copies in its first week; today, it has sold more than 15 million.) And while the songs (and the band) may get dissed nowadays for being too vanilla, you can’t deny the pop sensibilities  of  Thomas, who not only as a golden voice, but also a golden ear for hit-making music. (As we would, unfortunately, find out when he gets introduced to one Carlos Santana.) Is “Yourself” a classic album? Depends on your definition of “classic.” But you can’t deny that many of these songs are just so damn catchy. And isn’t that sometimes good enough?


You can listen to Yourself Or Someone Like You by Matchbox Twenty on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube, and Amazon. 


Once again, we close out our season with the “Listener’s Choice” epipod. And once again, Finest Workfan Kyle Hipp comes out on top with this year’s submission of Dave Matthews Band’s “Busted Stuff.” This album rose from the ashes of the now legendary “Lillywhite Sessions,” of which the band was not happy. So Dave and his band regrouped and re-recorded the tunes (and added a couple others), resulting in “Busted Stuff,” the stripped-down 2002 album that spawned the hit “Where Are You Going?” and a number of other fan faves like “Bartender,” “Grey Street” and “Grace Is Gone.” Despite being something of a “throwaway” offering, “Busted Stuff” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, speaking to the power of the DMB. But what do Matt & Matt think about this album? Listen to our “Listener’s Choice” epipod to find out.

You can listen to Busted Stuff by the Dave Matthews Band on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube, and Amazon. 


It’s been … one year since the last Finest Worksongs Christmas epipod. But Matt & Matt are back to offer up a couple of Yuletide faves ….and both are quirky and fun – in their own special ways. Barenaked Ladies’ “Barenaked for the Holidays” is quintessential BNL: moments of musical brilliance combined with moments of inane levity. “A Very Special Christmas 3” once again brought music’s top heavy hitters together to put their own, uh, unique spins on holiday classics — and a couple (then) new ones. Giggle your way into the season with our season-ending epipod. And Merry Christmas from Marshmallow and the Duke!

You can listen to Barenaked Ladies as well as A Very Special Christmas, volume 3 on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


With a rock and soul sound reminiscent of the Stones, the Black Crowes are timeless. But when they broke — and BIG — in 1991, they occupied a space and time all of their own. “Shake Your Moneymaker” is Southern rock mixed with 60s soul at its best. Chris Robinson’s anguished vocals and brother Rich Robinson’s songmaking abilities resulted in a slew of hits like “Hard to Handle, “Jealous Again” and “She Talks to Angels.” It’s a sound that works in 1961, 1991 and even (almost) 2021.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Shake Your Money Maker by The Black Crowes  online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


When one thinks of the top rock albums of 1991, undoubtedly some classics come to mind. Nirvana’s “Nevermind.” Pearl Jam’s “Ten.” “Achtung Baby” by U2. Metallica’s so-called “Black Album.” Guns’n’Roses even released “Use Your Illusion I & II” that year. But when Spin magazine unveiled its best album of the year, that honor went to Scotland’s Teenage Fanclub for their “Bandwagonesque.” And for good reason. Combining early-90s crunch and distortion with odes to the pop goodness of the likes of Big Star, “Bandwagonesque” is as complete and inspiring as anything else that came out that year. We dare you to listen to it and not be drawn in by the melodic hooks, syrupy harmonies, or the relatable lyrics. Teenage Fanclub may be the most underrated-yet-influential band of the last 30 years. And this album shows why.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub  online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


There’s a very good chance that if you’ve set foot in a random bar in the South over the last 25 years, you’ve heard the song “Straight to Hell.” This song has all the makings of a prototypical country song: twang; heartache; self-loathing; a catchy, singable chorus to raise a beer to. But it’s a song about a latchkey kid with a somewhat loose, disinterested mother. The song, off Drivin’ N Cryin’s 1989 “Mystery Road” album, gives you a great glimpse of the mystery that is the Georgia band: you probably know the song, but you probably didn’t know it was by them. “Mystery Road” itself is full of contradictions. There are bluesy songs. There are southern rock anthems (“Honeysuckle Blue”). There are hair metal songs. There are protest songs (“With the People”). There are bluegrass songs (“Ain’t It Strange”). At the heart of all of them are Kevn Kinney’s heartfelt and voice-cracking lyrics that make you wanna hug the nearest person. Drivin’ N Cryin’ would reach a larger audience with their follow up “Fly Me Courageous” album, but this is the one that shows the breadth of their heart and talent.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Mystery Road by Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


Before they reached international stardom thanks to the song “’74-’75,” The Connells were something of a regional favorite to music fans along the Eastern seaboard. Man, could they pack a house. The band composed some of the most pop-centered, unforgettable, singalong songs of the late-’80s and ’90s — ANYWHERE. It also didn’t hurt that they came across — even on stage — as just normal dudes. They even looked the part. Nowhere was this devotion to catchy melodies more emphasized than on their third album, “Fun & Games.”  Mention The Connells today to someone of a certain age in Virginia or the Carolinas, and there’s a very good chance this is the album that comes to mind. You can still see the album cover on t-shirts to this day. If that’s not lasting power, we don’t know what is.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Fun & Games by The Connells online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


In our second ever “Listener’s Choice” epipod, we take the Wayback Machine to 1998 when boy bands ruled the world. More specific, NSYNC took the pop world by storm with their debut album. This was the world’s first glimpse of Justin Timberlake, but NSYNC was more than just JT. In fact, they were a perfectly constructed boy band of the finest ilk — even if the group didn’t reach its full potential until later offerings. But “NSYNC” is a 13-song “how to” album chock-full of the boy band formula: pop gold (“Tearin’ Up My Heart” and “I Want You Back”), soulful ballads (“(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You”) and even Euro dance hall beats (“I Need Love”). It was a syrupy, uber-produced glimpse of what was to come … and it was quite the appetizer.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream the debut album by *NSync online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


How does a band reach the pinnacle of both commercial and critical success, dominate the airwaves for a handful of years, only to disintegrate into the ether? That’s probably the question that has haunted the members of Līve for two decades now. The band’s second major album, “Throwing Copper,” was omnipresent on both pop and alternative radio. The video for “Lightning Crashes” was an MTV staple. And then? Poof! After some 8 million albums sold (and a couple of moderately successful follow-ups), they were seemingly gone from the radar. (It could have to do with the fact that in this Google/SEO world, the name “Līve” does not render easily on search engines. Shoulda thought that through, boys!) It’s a shame, really. “Throwing Copper” is everything good about quintessential 90s rock, highlighted by singer Ed Kowalczyk’s mystical/nebulous lyrics.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Throwing Copper by Live online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


Hailed as “the grandchildren of the Beach Boys” by one reviewer, this soulful Chapel Hill band was also able to do rock, funk, and blues with impeccable harmonies. The band’s first full-length album, “Rosemary,” brought them incredible acclaim — if mostly on a regional level. But for a while there, they were the headliners while a lesser-known band from Columbia, S.C., was the opener. (Hint: it was Hootie.) “Rosemary” remains a delightful work of art that illustrates why North Carolina’s music scene has always been among the best in the land. And it clearly has lasting power, even if the band itself did not.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Rosemary by Dillon Fence online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 


If you were anywhere near a college campus in the mid-1990s, you were probably going to hear the Dave Matthews Band – either coming out of a dorm stereo or being played by a guy with an acoustic guitar. Before too long, though, the DMB was everywhere. The mix of guitar, horns, violin, and impeccable drumming – along with Matthews’ unique vocals – was a revolutionary sound in mainstream rock music. But is it still?

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Under the Table and Dreaming by Dave Matthews Band online at Spotify, iTunes,  YouTube, and Amazon .