US - California - Full Moon 40 - 01/21/00
Over the years (since his 1986 debut Inside, on Columbia) Matthew Sweet has been a
steady creator of quality guitar rock with a poppy attitude, drenched with his sweet'n'sour
lyrical stories from what seems to be an everlasting source of inspiration: love. A couple of
months before the millennium turned he released another album of trademark Sweet songs, entitled
In Reverse. Going backwards Matthew? Not wanting to leave the 20th Century?
In Reverse presents 14 songs, produced by Jim Scott, (drummer, percussionist) Fred
Maher, (guitarist) Greg Leisz (both Maher and Leisz have been working with Sweet on earlier
records) and Sweet himself, with a long line of guest musicians, such as (like always) drummer
Ric Menck (of Velvet Crush, for whom Sweet's been the producer), Menck's VC-buddy Paul Chastain
(guitar), and Pete Phillips (guitar) to mention a few. Millennium Blues opens the album,
before a line of basic rock songs spread out. Sweet isn't innovative or groundbreaking, but he
knows how to compose plain but charming and catchy verse-chorus-verse power-pop songs, with mild'n'rough
guitars. However I feel that 14 songs is a bit too much. That said Sweet's material is solid
all the way, filled with an truefelt honesty, sounding healthy organic. If you get the chance
go see Matthew Sweet play live,
and you'll be presented a blast of positive energy from the stage that can melt a rock. Some
uppers from In Reverse are: Trade Places, Write Your Own Song, What
Matters - all being excellent pop songs, and the rocking Split Personality.
You can say whatever you will, but Matthew Sweet is always good company. If you already own
Blue Sky On Mars (1997), 100% Fun (1995), Altered Beast (1993), and
Girlfriend (1991) - all released by Zoo - well, why not include In Reverse
in your collection as well. Too bad Richard Lloyd didn't drop by the studio this time either.
Other records by Matthew Sweet: his 2nd album Earth
(1989, A&M), and the extended mini album Son Of Altered Beast (1994, Zoo) (with remix and live songs from Altered Beast
and Girlfriend, plus a couple of non-album songs, including a Neil Young cover, Don't Cry No Tears).
Copyright © 2000 Håvard Oppøyen