Known Johnson

September 19, 2008

Hitting the (Matthew) Sweet spot again

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 10:47 pm

Sweet, he of the huge hit “Girlfriend” back in the early 90s (and deservingly so – awesome song) kind of lost his way in the later 90s. I don’t know what happened, exactly, but the snarly, quivering barely-in-control guitar lines that made Girlfriend, Altered Beast, and 100% Fun so much, well, fun disappeared, and things got dry and kind of boring. He’s put out a number of releases since then, each getting middling-positive reviews, but nothing that made me curious enough to go after them in the long run. A few weeks ago, however, he released Sunshine Lies and something about the write-ups I saw, indicating a real (you guessed it) “return to form” got me intrigued. And so today, when I found a used promo copy, I snagged it, and I’ll be damned if it pretty much isn’t the fulfillment of that promise – about as close to a “return to form” as possible without simply rehashing what has already been done. It was just a damned satisfying listen from beginning to end, but most of all, it was fun. The album is covered in that great, loose, wild guitar that made his earlier albums so addictive. I can’t say much more at this point, having only heard it one time through, but first impressions are very strong with this one. If you liked Sweet’s heyday, this one is for you.

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