Review: Matthew Sweet – Sunshine Lies

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Label: Shout! Factory

Released: August 26, 2008

Matthew Sweet had a good run in the early to mid 90s, releasing three very good albums in a row. Since that time, he’s been erratic at best, including the appropriate but lackluster covers collaboration with Susanna Hoffs. Granted, Sweet’s music has been lite, but his best efforts manage to meld sweet pop with a confidence in his own pleasantly bizarre perspective.

Sunshine Lies starts off with a series of 60s-drenched psych pop tunes that are among his best. The jangle is there, the hooks are abundant and the music, even when melancholy, feels awfully good. Heading into the second half though, Sweet stumbles into the Carpenters-esque saccharine pop of “Pleasure is Mine.” But two songs later, Sweet is on track again with fuzzy garage rocker “Sunrise Eyes” and he puts together a strong finish with catchy songs that have Sweet’s peculiar identity.

Sweet may never make another album on par with Girlfriend or 100% Fun, but that doesn’t he won’t make albums worth hearing. Sunshine Lies isn’t without its sketchy spots to be sure, but in its best moments he at least knocks on the door of his past success.

Ratings
Satriani: 6/10
Zappa: 6/10
Dylan: 6/10
Aretha: 6/10
Overall: 6/10

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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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