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Matthew Sweet

Sunshine Lies (Shout! Factory)

Aug. 24, 2008
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  By now, you would think Matthew Sweet's sell-by date would be long passed, that his brand of '90s power pop would have gone sour. Yet here he is, 22 years after his first solo album with one of the strongest discs of his career. Self-described as "power-pop-folk-rock-psychedelic-melodic-singer-songwriter-type-stuff," Sunshine Lies is the sound of a man approaching his mid-40s feeling musically free.

  Sweet's forays into California-rock harmonies with the Thorns and '60s cover tunes with Susanna Hoffs were impressive, to be sure, but also confining. By contrast, the swirling Sunshine Lies radiates plenty of diversity, attitude and charm-whether channeling the Beach Boys, the Byrds and the Beatles or R.E.M., Cheap Trick and Foo Fighters.

  In addition to lead and harmony vocals, Sweet handles guitar, bass, keys and Mellotron, and he's backed by a quartet of veteran musicians. Together they play with the conviction of a garage band with everything left to prove.


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