I believe this sort of thing is called power pop. It’s all melodic loveliness and uplifting power chords. It reminds me of Big Star or how I imagine R.E.M would have turned out if they had remained conjoined with The B-52’s for more than one song.
Matthew Sweet is one of those culty artists that certain types of grey haired guys with funny little satchels get excited about in record shops and arts forums (I include Dinosaur Jr and Ben Harper in that choice selection too).
He’s been putting records out to much acclaim since the mid 80’s and is still at it now.
His reputation is a thing for sure. But I’ve only ever heard the one album all the way through once. It came out in the early 90’s and it was called Girlfriend.
Caveat Here: This album has one of the best cover photographs of all time. The sleeve is a photo of actress Tuesday Weld taken in the 50’s with a fur coat (easy now) pulled up around her face as she smiles on a beach at sunrise. She and her smile are just so damned beautiful it had to come from the silver screen Hollywood era. I did not know these details when I saw the record all those years ago. I thought ‘Who the fuck does this Matthew Sweet think he is having a girlfriend this pretty AND sticking her on his album cover?’
Of all the tracks on the album ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ is the one that stood out enough for me to recall hearing it (and liking it) two decades later.
So I just bought a copy of Girlfriend recently and can confirm, this track is a gem. A semi acoustic semi rockin’ pop song about being into someone so bloody much.
Give it a spin (or a click) and get giddy about your significant other for a bit. Make ’em a cuppa. Tell ’em they’re lovely.