Posted by: Ryan Allen on August 29, 2008 at 11:00 am

Matthew Sweet, Sunshine Lies (Shout Factory, 2008)

MP3: “Time Machine”

Synonymous with the phrase “power pop,” Matthew Sweet is back with album number ten and proof that he hasn’t yet exhausted his supply of hook-filled, guitar driven tunes. Sunshine Lies is one of Sweet’s most consistent records since his 1990 breakthrough Girlfriend, which featured his best-known songs “I’ve Been Waiting” and the title track. Sweet’s love of 60’s and 70’s rock has been apparent throughout his career, but particularly on this album. Somebody who has obsessively worn out multiple copies of Mr. Tambourine Man and Who’s Next undoubtedly wrote songs like “Byrdgirl” and “Sunrise Eyes.” Despite the strength of much of the material, lyrically Sweet comes across a tad sophomoric on some of the less consequential tracks. On “Room To Rock” he repeatedly declares, “I need a room to rock in” which, for a man in his 40’s with an accomplished music career, seems like something he should have figured out by now via a spare room in his house or by renting some practice space. But Sweet’s “forever young” attitude is part of his appeal. Sunshine Lies will be well appreciated by all those with a love of catchy rock, a basic grasp of power chords and their own room in which to rock it all out. — Laura Witkowski

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