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Sunday, September 14, 2008

CD Review: Matthew Sweet - Sunshine Lies

Matthew Sweet - Sunshine Lies
2008, Shout! Factory

It seems hard to believe that Matthew Sweet's Sunshine Lies is his tenth album release. I remember hearing Girlfriend back when I was in college and thinking that it was okay, but not really giving it too much thought. What no one realized back then is that Matthew Sweet was on the cutting edge of what would become modern rock once the whole Grunge movement bought Starbucks stock and retired to the suburbs. I'll admit that I haven't always been too high on Matthew Sweet, but I have to acknowledge that he has influenced and paved the way for many artists now in the popular realm.

One of the things I respect about Sweet is that he goes where the music takes him, rather than trying to force his own will on it. I admit that over the years this has sometimes taken him in directions I haven't enjoyed, but he is musically true to himself. Sunshine Lies (previously with the working title Rock Bottom) is a joyous revelation. Matthew Sweet is reborn in the same vibrant energy and jangly, hook-filled pop that filled much of his early career.

My absolute favorite song here is Byrdgyrl, with a soaring chorus and a melody I am still trying to shake. I also enjoyed the filthy guitar hook that opens Flying. Room To Rock is classic Sweet and should become a concert favorite. Other highlights include the gorgeous melody and harmonies of Feel Fear, the guitar rock swagger of Let's Love and the laid back Back Of My Mind.

Sunshine Lies may be the best album Sweet has put out since 100% Fun. The album is full of vibrant energy, jangly guitars, luscious melodies and the occasional schizophonic turn you've come to expect from Matthew Sweet. Sunshine Lies is going to make Matthew Sweet very sought after for the foreseeable future.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Matthew Sweet or purchase a copy of Sunshine Lies at

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