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.
100% Fun Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine