Matthew Sweet | Girlfriend
Family Average: 4/7
Welcome once again to another Throwback. Today’s album comes to us curtesy of Peter. It’s Matthew Sweet’s 90’s rock triumph that is Girlfriend. You ever have a girlfriend? Yeah me neither. Matthew Sweet might have. It is hard to say. Whatever the real truth this album is here so I am sure you are all curious as to how we feel about it.
Listen along on Their Spotify and read on to find out:
Baby the year is 1991 my jeans are as wide as they are long, but we have not gone full on 90’s just yet everyone is kind of dipping their toes in. That's why I always liked this album it’s got some ideas from both sides of the fence. On the one hand you have this super southern rock sound coming out in the licks, and riffs. Best example of this would be the song “Winona” could for sure see this diddy getting blasted at your local honky tonk. Then on the other side you have this melodic indie pop sound seeping in (oh god you really hear it on “I’ve Been Waiting”) Sounds a lot like what was gonna start coming around with bands like The La’s and Ben Folds. Just the fact that this exists is pretty neat, and the fact that it works so well is incredible. That's right everybody I say it works so that makes it true, in the context of my review which is an opinion.
The opening tracks have an early Tom Petty feel to them, which is to say they have a “Byrd’s” like quality running through their DNA. The catchy jangling guitar riff at the opening of “I’ve been waiting” sounds similar to “feel a whole lot better”. I must admit this is my favorite type of music, it feels nice, it’s a flannel shirt worn to the beach all summer, faded and softened by the sun. In contract to the happy music the lyrics, on the other hand tell quite a different story. Each song carries the lyrical weight of unrequited love. The entire album is reflective of a love that was not reciprocated or understood. The titles say it all: I Thought I knew you, You don’t love me, I wanted to tell you, Don’t go, Holy War and the final track is appropriately titled, “Nothing Lasts”. This is a brilliant work of power pop. It’s stripped down, no effects, no reverb, delivery was a welcomed diversion to the typical music of the early 1990’s. I give this one a loud
Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" is an often underrated album that was a welcome return to rock or pop/rock in the early 90's. You can hear his many influences from the Beatles, the Byrds,(which may be why Peter likes him so much), Neil Young ("your Sweet Voice"), REM ("I though I knew You"). He combines these influences into an album that is very much his own. Hard rocking songs like the title track stand up well along with the more country "Winona" or "You Don't Love Me" and the more bluesy "Day for Night". For an album to hold my interest there needs to be variety. The artist needs to express him/herself not only lyrically and musically, they must show all facets of their talents with an ability to combine various genres. I think he accomplishes this on "Girlfriend" so I give it a
This album, like most of the throwback ones we do, was a presence throughout my childhood. This one wasn't just a car cd, or a stereo staple, but also one that my dad would always play on guitar, and then when the brother's learned, they'd play it too. So "Girlfriend" and "I've Been Waiting" have been stuck in my head sporadically throughout my entire life.
Even though I tend to think of this album as a sunny feel-good nostalgic comfort, I realized upon this full listen that the guitar work is impressive and not to be ignored.
I keep thinking this is older, like 70s, but its early 90s style sneaks in, especially the guitar, kind of like Lenny Kravitz on the Austin Powers soundtrack style (wow more childhood).
Childhood comfort, yet recognizable talent (especially with the guitar). I can tell why my dad really loves this album.
Yeah yeah its about to get hot mother F**ERS. Who needs pedals? Not me.