The Thorns (album)

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The Thorns
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 20, 2003
ProducerBrendan O'Brien
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[2]

The Thorns is the only studio album by rock supergroup The Thorns. Released by Aware Records in 2003, it was produced by Brendan O'Brien following songwriting sessions by the three members before they officially became a band.

Aware reissued the album in late 2003 with a bonus disc of the band performing the entirety of the album acoustically.

The Thorns was a group that consisted of Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge and Shawn Mullins. Both Matthew and Shawn became big names in Georgia, playing clubs in Athens and Atlanta. Sweet and Mullins even shared the same manager. It was through their manager that Sweet became involved in the Thorns. Recording took place at L.A.’s Sound Factory studio.

The band thought about calling themselves, "Horn of Plenty" before settling on the name, "The Thorns" after hearing Sweet play a composition of the same name. The band continued to record the album in Atlanta, with producer, Brendan O'Brien, who had previously worked with Sweet and Droge.

The band wrote the album on a ranch in Santa Ynez, California. Sweet wrote five songs for the album, Mullins wrote two, and Droge had four. They also recorded a cover version of the Jayhawks song, "Blue." During their premiere performance they dedicated the song to Jayhawk Gary Louris as he recovered from a recent life-threatening infection of the heart.

Legendary drummer Jim Keltner played drums on the album. The group decided to stick with the name, "The Thorns" after Keltner introduced the group to the Rolling Stones as The Thorns.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Shawn Mullins, Matthew Sweet and Pete Droge unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Runaway Feeling" – 3:28
  2. "I Can't Remember" – 3:31
  3. "Blue" (Mark Olson, Gary Louris) – 2:53
  4. "Think It Over" – 3:26
  5. "Thorns" – 2:56
  6. "No Blue Sky" (Mullins, Droge, Marshall Altman, Glen Phillips) – 4:38
  7. "Now I Know" (Sweet) – 1:56
  8. "Dragonfly" – 3:06
  9. "Long, Sweet Summer Night" – 3:12
  10. "I Told You" – 3:07
  11. "Such a Shame" – 3:36
  12. "I Set the World on Fire" – 3:04
  13. "Among the Living" – 4:08


  • Matthew Sweet – vocals, bass, acoustic and electric guitar, vihuela, baritone ukulele, marxophone, keyboards, percussion
  • Shawn Mullins – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, vihuela, keyboards, percussion, dulcimer
  • Pete Droge – vocals, acoustic, electric and baritone guitar, ukelin, keyboards, cymbals
  • Jim Keltner – drums
  • Greg Leisz – mandola, mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel and 12-string electric guitar, electric dulcimer
  • Brendan O'Brien – acoustic and electric guitar, bass, hurdy-gurdy, marxophone, bass harmonica, keyboards, percussion
  • Roy Bittan – piano, electric piano


  1. ^ Sendra, Tim. The Thorns at AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  2. ^ Edwards, Gavin. "The Thorns", Rolling Stone, May 29, 2003, p. 66.