Most live releases attempt to recreate the sound of a studio album in a stage setting. Matthew Sweet's Son of Altered Beast pushes the music of 1993 studio release Altered Beast further, providing new material for fans and giving others a chance to see another dimension of Sweet's work. This time out, Sweet intensifies his reverence for guitar-oriented rock. Critically acclaimed, Altered Beast shows Sweet's shadowy side in songs such as "Someone to Pull the Trigger" as well as his biting humor on "Knowing People." The studio versions of these songs contain blistering guitars and carefully engineered vocals. While the vocals verge on unreserved, the live tracks present another side of Matthew Sweet not manifest in his videos or studio albums. The live versions of these songs on Son of Altered Beast share the guitar sounds of Altered Beast (thanks to the stellar performances by Richard Lloyd and Greg Leisz), but the vocals and overall sound reverberate with a raw energy characteristic of Sweet's stage show. The studio remix of "Devil With the Green Eyes" and the "lost" studio track "Ultrasuede" round out the live tracks. Recorded part way through the Altered Beast tour, Son of Altered Beast demonstrates Matthew Sweet's ability to reinvent his music live, rather than reproduce it.
AllMusic Review by Jennifer Ansbach