Matt Sharp

Puckett's Versus the Country Boy [EP]

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After a brief run with the Rentals in the mid-'90s, ex-Weezer wunderkind Matt Sharp turned around his signature quirky pop for an Americana mix of acoustic guitars and moody, sunless melodies for a solo career. Sharp joined guitarist/keyboardist Greg Brown, formerly of Cake, and Josh Hager in early 2002 for what would become the charming Puckett's Versus the Country Boy EP. Sharp wears his heart on his sleeve on this easy-breathing four-song set. It seems like he is honest as a songwriter for the first time, sharing a sincere side for what's probably his most smartest material to date. It's nice to see Sharp create something that's tangible for him as an artist, and Weezer completists should be pleased with his musical progression. It was bound to happen and thankfully happened sooner rather than later. Through all of his experimenting, Sharp's talent has earned him great respect, but he's been a little unsure of what to do with that. With Puckett's Versus the Country Boy, he finally realizes that he deserves it. His confidence blossoms on the forlorn journey "Goodbye West Coast" and his tender heart swoons for "Visions of Anna." Tossing aside the Moog synthesizers for a grainy, high-lonesome romance on Puckett's Versus the Country Boy is a brilliant move for Sharp.

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