Exile on Mainstream

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Exile on Mainstream Music Poster Image
A little whiny, but pop rock songs are solid.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

A subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) message of self-absorbed pessimism that's comfy territory for many tweens and teens: "You left a stain/on every one of my good days/But I am stronger than you know/I have to let you go."


Only in metaphor, as in "I believe the world is burning to the ground...the world is coming to an end."


Nothing explicit -- more about the end of relationships than the fun parts.


"Hell" is as strong as it gets.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this CD is a greatest hits compilation of sorts that includes only six new songs and no explicit language ("hell" is as raunchy as it gets). Content is neatly settled in end-of-the-relationship, self-absorbed angst without dwelling too much on the depressing side of things. Many teens and tweens will find this comforting and validating -- a stroll through familiar territory in more ways than one.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written byLove_my_Dogs_SMR April 10, 2011
good music
Teen, 13 years old Written byink January 22, 2010
My mother used to play this in the car when it first came out. My sister and I were both quite young, and liked the songs.

What's the story?

Diehards may wonder why it took so long -- five years -- for Matchbox Twenty to come up with their new CD, EXILE ON MAINSTREAM, since it contains only six new songs along with eleven \"greatest hits.\" But true fans get a lot of extra bells and whistles for the buck -- video, lyrics, and a photo gallery on a bonus DVD. Lyrics like \"I believe the world is burning to the ground…I believe it's all coming to an end/oh well, I guess we're gonna pretend/let's see how far we've come\" may not inspire dance-party fun, but do reflect the real feelings involved at the end of a relationship, not to mention fears about frightening world events.

Is it any good?

Rob Thomas' distinctive vocals ride over the band's powerful instrumental tracks with intensity and pathos, delivering one message after another about self-absorbed end-of-relationship/end-of-the-personal-world pain. Teens, however, may find comfort in the fact that they are not alone in what they are going through.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what happens when a relationship seems to be hitting the skids. It's so easy to think only about yourself and your own pain. Can you think of some things you might do to help yourself get over it and move on? Some kids talk to their friends, keep a journal, or create songs, poems, stories, or paintings. How about you?

Music details

  • Artist: Matchbox Twenty
  • Release date: October 2, 2007
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Genre: Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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