Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lies and Guilt (music reviews)

First Impression Music Reviews

Matthew Sweet - Sunshine Lies C+
Matthew Sweet ruled the first half of the 90's, during that stretch he released the seminal alt-pop masterpiece, Girlfriend, the underrated Altered Beast (and Son of Altered Beast), as well as the hook-laden 100% Fun.

After those albums he seemed to fade from the spotlight a little and experimented with other projects- most notably the supergroup The Thorns (Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge, and Shawn Mullins)

On Sunshine Lies, his 10th studio album, Sweet delivers a mixed bag upon first listen. There are definite reminders of why he was once crowned the prince of power pop, and than their are moments where it seems like he's just rockin out and phoning it in.

I miss the dark lyrics from the early 90's but I can't expect him to keep putting out rehashed versions of Girlfriend and Altered Beast. The days of being "superdeformed" maybe gone forever, but Sweet can still kick out the jams. I expect this one to grow on me after repeated listens

Beck - Modern Guilt B
Beck is great. But I mainly bought this album because I read that it was more like Sea Change than some of his more recent albums. To my disappointment it's not really like Sea Change, but it's still a good album. I'm not sure if Beck is capable of making an uninteresting album.

My first impression of Modern Guilt is that it has a bit of a throw-back (retro) feel. It's snappy, catchy, and bouncy. It feels like summer... but not in a "rumpshaker" or "it's gettin hot in here" type of way... more of a sensible, micro brew, sun tan lotion, beach ball kind of way. There's nothing here to feel guilty about at all.

This is actually a striking album upon first listen (clocking in at just under 35 minutes), but my fear is that I might tire of this album quickly like I did with Guero... Although, I think this is a more complete and solid album than Guero.

(Album of the Week) Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
It just seems appropriate with the DNC, Barack Obama, and PE being in town this week. This is one of the most influential and essential albums ever made- "a counterattack on world supremacy".

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