Matthew Sweet Saved Pop Music Once Already…What More Do You Want?
Matthew Sweet is one artist that I never understood why he isn't better well known than he is. He writes great pop songs, isn't afraid to use and abuse the wall of sound method of recording when needed, and is probably on the short list of influences of every successful band to come out of the 90's. Sweet himself came out of the tail end of the Athens, Georgia music scene in the late 80's, a scene that had earlier given birth to bands like the B-52s and REM. He recorded two solid albums before finding a degree of success with his 1991 album, 'Girlfriend', which spawned the single of the same name. I remember loving this album when it was first released, and many of my friends who were musicians treated it in an almost bible-esque way as far as being a guide to great pop song crafting. Not to mention the anime style video that accompanied the song 'Girlfriend' and you had an artist who was, to put it simply, the essence of the word cool.
Sweet has released almost a dozen albums since then, worked side by side with guys like Lloyd Cole and Television's Richard Lloyd, and has hopped around several labels in the process. While he's never repeated the success of 'Girlfriend', he continues to compile an amazing catalogue of writing that would shame many chart toppers today. Recently, Sweet has worked with The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs on the 'Under the Covers' albums which featured their take on classic songs, and released his own solo effort, 'Sunshine Lies', in 2008.
Need a sugar fix now? Sweet is featured Wednesday night on the online showcase Stripped Down Live with Curt Smith. The feed starts at 8PM PT, but you can catch it on the site the following day if you can't stay up for the live broadcast. Or, venture over to Matt's personal site here. In the meantime, I've included a blistering performance of 'Girlfriend' from a Sweet record store appearance two years ago. Classic three Gibson guitar attack and the truth…Awesome.