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Matthew Sweet
In Reverse

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).

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You may also want to check out our Matthew Sweet article/review: Sunshine Lies.

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