Title - 'Girlfriend: Legacy Edition' (Legacy Records)
Artist - Matthew Sweet
This record was a revelation when it came out, and remains as vibrant and bracing today. It is one of the absolute best power pop records of the 90s, a decade in which that genre experienced something of a renaissance (Posies, Teenage Fanclub, Velvet Crush, Jellyfish etc.) Sweet had made a couple of unremarkable records before this one. I think two things made it leap out of the CD player and into our collective conscious. One was the sublime twin guitar work of Richard Lloyd (Television) and Robert Quine (NYC downtown guitar hero and notably on some of Lou Reed's most powerful work.) These two guys blaze and smolder throughout these melodic, harmonic songs, providing more bite and panache than most records you will hear in any genre. The performances of Quine and Lloyd in service to Sweet's catchy numbers creates the illusion of two tigers tamed; you can feel the excitement of their ferociousness on every track, even the soft, cotton-candy-sweet "Your Sweet Voice." The second thing that makes this record stand apart is the fact that it is a break-up record, and a great one. From the optimistic second tune, the infectious "I've Been Waiting," through to the desolate "Nothing Lasts," you can hear Sweet laying bare the gamut of emotions involved in a relationship and its dissolution. Like Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones or Richard and Linda Thompson's Shoot Out the Lights-or perhaps most aptly, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours-a good break-up record transcends time and trends and endures. Every subsequent Mathew Sweet record has a few gems, and some folks will even argue that the follow-up, Dinosaur Act, is the better album. It is a good one, but this is where the Mathew Sweet legend begins and reaches its fullest heights. And now the classic album has been placed onto two discs and remastered. The additional tracks includes an ultra-rare 'Good Friend', which was another take on 'Girlfriend' and a 24 page booklet with new photos, lyrics and in-depth essay! From the opening track to the very end it doesn't disappoint. Buy this now!