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100% Fun

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Album Review

Clocking in at 45 minutes, Matthew Sweet's third record of guitar-dominated, hook-laden power pop runs through its 12 songs at a classic speed, piling up songs that lovingly conform to the three-minute pop tradition. Richard Lloyd's gnarled guitars save Sweet's melodies and harmonies from being saccharine or sappy. Behind Sweet's bright hooks lies something darker — the self-loathing of "Sick of Myself" and the mental manipulation of "We're the Same" aren't evident from the sound of the record, which obliterates any hidden meanings with its chiming guitars and driving rhythms. It might not have the consistent barrage of great songs like Girlfriend, yet it tames the wilder impulses of Altered Beast into an album that rocks its worries away without ever getting rid of them.

Customer Reviews

Ageing not 100% fun - but you'll be glad you were happy for today

Its not a record, its a time machine. For me, this is all about time and place. This album will always be for me Seattle in the mid 90's - the best years of my life (so far...). Who cared about Cobain (ok we did), but this was MY music, my issues and my resolution.

I love this album because to ME it was all about the girl I loved - not the somewhat saccharine "Girlfriend" (still good) but messy, complicated, real life.
I love this album because one of my new best friends Steve married Matthew's cousin Kara who introduced me to it- and it reminds me of them (dancing with Demi's mate and DJ Bruce in Ketchum, your secrets safe Steve).
I love this album because I only have to put it on and I am once again driving a sports car through the Cascades, with an open road of possibilities and my whole life ahead of me.
I love this album because it allows me to feel young and optimistic again. Life isn't without bumps in the road but YOU can choose to make it 100% fun.

The standout track is Sick of Myself.
Lyrics, in a pre-internet age, were always a personal thing and perhaps it reflects my own ego that to me 'sick of myself' was the opposite of self-loathing as described in the above review- it was about being in with a chance with the only one who is worthy. It was about meeting the girl of you dreams ("something that's beautiful and true" - the one person on a comparative higher pedestal, even though she may not know it) in an otherwise mundane, ordinary world ("a world thats ugly and lie"), and despite her engagement to the wrong guy (Matthew missed that bit!) its all going to be alright ('cause "something in your eyes is keeping my hope alive").

Life is full of compromises, but not in your youth when you can allow yourself to rise above the complexity and it can be just that simple. Yes, on first listen some of the lyrics on this album can seem a little darker particularly in comparison to the bright, driven pop tunes and spangling, multi-layered guitars. But put it on loud, wind down the windows, scare the natives by singing along and its pure therapy and leaves me with a general sense of optimism and hope. And that is 100% fun.

"Get older, your memories won't slip away, and you'll be glad, when you get older, that you were happy for today".
This album is a trigger to those memories; I was extremely happy and I am glad to look back on that time now from a distance. "No two days are quite the same, I look at my life and I can't complain".

If you are young now (I'm jealous - "'cause they don't know what they've got") make your own memories, there are some great bands out there beyond the mainstream to make your own. If you lived this album at the time you still will own it unless you lost or someone stole your copy in which case an expensive £7.99 will not be TOO much. (after you've tried asking Matthew for a copy via his website -he can afford it and you've already paid for it once right). To me, and I'm sure many others, priceless.

Biography

Born: 06 October 1964 in Lincoln, NE

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After spending the '80s as an unappreciated jangle pop guitarist with Oh-OK and Lloyd Cole, as well as a solo artist, Matthew Sweet emerged in 1991 as the leading figure of the American power pop revival. Like his British counterparts Teenage Fanclub, Sweet adhered to traditional songcraft, yet subverted the form by adding noisy post-punk guitar and flourishes of country-rock, resulting in an amalgam of the Beatles, Big Star, R.E.M., and Neil Young. Recorded with guitarists Richard Lloyd and Robert...
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