Matthew Sweet

Goodfriend

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

This rare promotional disc features alternate versions of most of the tracks from Girlfriend, plus two cover songs (the exception to the album concept being "Someone to Pull the Trigger," which is from the Altered Beast album). A home-recorded acoustic version of the normally crunch-heavy "Divine Intervention" shows up here as an appealing slab of amphetamine folk. Acoustic renditions of "Looking at the Sun" and "Winona" also work amazingly well. In addition, there are several live tracks, the cream of the crop being an appropriately bruised and searing version of Neil Young's "Cortez Killer" that features guest vocals by the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray. There are only a few minor missteps: for one, it's unnecessary to include two versions of "Girlfriend" (a live BBC radio track and a concert rendition), especially when neither comes close to the blistering guitar work by Robert Quine on the studio original. Also, the live version of the normally jangly "I've Been Waiting" is a bit too shaky to merit inclusion. Overall, however, this album stands on its own as an exceptionally strong work, and shouldn't be seen as strictly for Matthew Sweet fanatics.

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