"Real World was just...I came to this realization that we were going to make a record and I was gonna be in a band and that all of a sudden, I was 23, 24 years old and no matter what I did, I was never gonna be a fireman. I was never gonna be a policeman...and it's like if you weren't doing that, would everything change? Would everyone think of me the same as if I were just like working in a fast food restaurant."
~ Rob Thomas from Earwig Interview
This song is basically about how one day in a bad relationship can feel like forever (in a bad way).
This song is about the mother of Rob Thomas. He stated, "We call it a drinking song about my mom."
"If they would have actually listened to anything except the chorus, "I wanna push you around," then it makes a lot of sense that it's just about a relationship. It's just about emotional abuse. It's just about emotional violence. It's just about being manipulated and being controlled. The way relationships work. And I think it just means they didn't hear my song, and I'm mad at them for getting up on their soap box and saying, "I got a cause, I got a cause. I'm gonna ban a bunch of punks from Florida because they wrote a song and I didn't listen to it but I really think it's got some kind of misogynistic undertone and I'm gonna bring it out if I can"
~ Rob Thomas from Earwig Interview
GIRL LIKE THAT
That was about being obessed with a girl for the wrong reasons. You get into the relationship and then you realize it's not what you thought it would be.
BACK 2 GOOD
This is a song about the consequences of cheating.
Believe it or not, it's a song about working hard at getting laid.
This song is about a little boy name Cody who died when he was 2 1/2 years old. Rob Thomas paid a tribute to Cody with this song. A picture of the boy can be found inside of the 'YOSLY' sleeve.
"This is the cheating song. Actually "Back 2 Good" is the official cheating song, but this is about when you've fucked everything up so bad, that no matter what you do, people look at you as a fuck up, and there is nothing you can do to change it."
~ Rob Thomas, August 17, 1997
This song was written about some of Rob Thomas' friends. A friend of his was dating a really great girl and he fucked it up.
"This was kind of me being sarcastic about the whole anger thing, and I'm trying to pat myself on the back about being a bigger man when I'm really not. It's me fighting with myself," says Rob. "I wanted it to open the record because it seemed like if our songs were a train, it would connect to the last [album] and make one continuous record."
BLACK & WHITE PEOPLE
Horn-propelled pop pleasure written by Rob Thomas eight years ago. "Part of me is just so glad this song is on the record," says Thomas. "When we did the last record, we didn't know what to do with it. It needed its own time to grow."
It's about a relationship that left one partner feeling bitter and used.
LAST BEAUTIFUL GIRL
This song reflects on a relationship gone bad and a girl who knew all the right things to say at all the wrong times.
IF YOU'RE GONE
"I wrote this right after I met my wife," says Rob. "We were separated for a few weeks and were on the phone all the time and I was thinking, 'I met this wonderful person,' and I wondered if everything I was going through [with Matchbox Twenty's success] was going to make it to crazy to build a relationship."
The song took on a more universal tone but was originally about the wild ride that the band has been on since success hit, says Rob. "The whole idea came from our mad season," he says. "It has nothing to do with being bad, it's just crazy. There are no handbooks for any of this."
Written from the woman's point of view, this is about her having to end the relationship before she "loses her nerve." And the man's sad realization that she sees all his faults despite his efforts to hide them. "This is actually a true story," says Rob. "I was hitchhiking to Daytona [Fla.] and met a woman, and I just wound up staying with her and her friends. She was driving me back, and she stopped somewhere in the middle of the night to wake me up and let me out about three miles from a rest stop."
This is a vague track about just not having the energy to pull it all together and wondering why that bolt of ambition, "the burn," never hit.
About as optimistic a song as there is on the album, "Bent" is a lover's plea that his intended help him through life. "It's a love song and a rock song; there's a hopeful tone to it," says Rob. "It's kind of like the person is saying, 'As misguided as I may be, these are the things that it takes to be with me.'"
This is a quiet ballad about the exact moment when the relationship goes sour and all that's left is the heartache.
A song about being fed up and scared and just ready to shed all the troubles.
YOU WON'T BE MINE
Sultry, lean, jazzy number that highlights Rob Thomas' voice and swells to include a 68-piece orchestra.
This song is about not putting up with anybody's shit.
YOU & I & I
This song is about coming to terms with the fact that you might be an asshole.