Rob Thomas, His Wife, and Her Diamonds
Rob Thomas’ latest album, Cradlesong, deals with dark issues and adult themes but none is more serious than the illness inflicting his wife Marisol (Maldonado) Thomas.
Marisol suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder and her plight was Thomas’ muse for Cradlesong’s first single, “Her Diamonds.”
During a recent appearance on NBC’s Today Show, Thomas confirmed that he wrote “Her Diamonds” for Marisol and discussed her ordeal with Natalie Morales and Lester Holt.
The mid-tempo song is poignant and enthralling. It has solid lyrics, although a bit derivative, and a catchy refrain. It’s definitely worthy of being the album’s first single.
The sentiment behind the song and the support Thomas shows for his wife is absolutely endearing and heartfelt. That is great.
However, Marisol sang back up on the track and helped out with the arrangements. That is not good.
You can’t perform on a song written about you!
Marilyn Monroe didn’t sing backup on “Goodbye Norma Jean.” Dave Coulier didn’t perform on “You Oughta Know.” Eric Clapton didn’t play guitar on “Savoy Truffle.”
It’s okay to be in the studio when someone is recording a song written for you. It’s even okay if you give suggestions or help divvy up the drugs. But you can’t participate in the recording. Period. End of discussion.
It would be like Bruce Springsteen appearing on a Born in the U.S.A. tribute album or Gene Simmons joining a KISS cover band.
It’s as gauche as throwing yourself a birthday party or as tacky as winning your own golf tournament.
What’s next? Is she going to perform “Her Diamonds” live with her husband the next time he takes the stage in Hollywood
, or Houston
, or San Diego
As for Thomas, he’s scheduled to start his North American tour on September 19th in Tempe, Arizona. It will conclude on November 13th, in New York
City, the second of two nights at the famed Beacon Theatre. Rob Thomas tickets
are currently on sale for most of his dates.
Fortunately, Thomas had the good sense not to put his wife in the video for “Her Diamonds” although Marisol did appear in the videos to “Smooth” and “Ever The Same.”
Instead the video to “Her Diamonds” stars the incomparable Alicia Silverstone—as a brunette no less. Silverstone is encased in a block of ice that’s slowly melted away by the sun. Meanwhile, Thomas is seen singing on ice surfaces and in puddles of water.
Of course there would have been no way for Marisol to get away with being in the video. Performing in the studio is one thing because you can always be left off the linear notes and most people don’t really pay attention to that stuff anyway. You don’t have that luxury in a music video.
“Her Diamonds” has been Thomas’ best performing single since his 2005 hit “Lonely No More.” The song peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it reached as high as #3 on the Hot Adult Top 40 (the music chart for old people). More good news, in the first week of its release “Her Diamonds” was the most played song in Australian. Still no word on how it performed in Papa New Guinea or Burkina Faso.
No doubt Thomas will be delighting audiences from San Jose
whenever he performs “Her Diamonds.” And those fans will certainly disagree with our contention that Marisol broke a sacrosanct tenant of recorded music.
Regardless of whether or not we agree about the rules of rock, we can all agree that we’d rather keep Marisol’s contributions to “Her Diamonds” intact but get rid of the illness behind the song.