Matthew Sweet, "Tomorrow’s Daughter." I’ve written about, interviewed and hung out with Matthew Sweet for more than three decades, have seen a lot of his shows (who knows how many) and reviewed every one of his albums — 12 of them solo, plus three with Susanna Hoffs and one by The Thorns.
That means two things: I know a lot about the Lincoln native and his music, and it’s impossible for me to come to the music with any kind of distance.
That said, here’s my take on “Tomorrow’s Daughter,” the album Sweet’s releasing Friday.
The follow-up to last year’s “Tomorrow’s Forever” and comprised of songs recorded in the same sessions at Sweet’s Omaha studio, “Tomorrow’s Daughter” is another exquisite showcase for Sweet’s distinctive power pop.
That distinction comes from Sweet’s signature addition of Fleetwood Mac lushness and layered vocals and dissonant ‘70s/’80s New York punk guitar to the power pop formula of crunchy guitars, beautiful melodies, beats and ballads originated by The Beatles and perfected by Big Star.
“I Belong To You,” the album’s opener, is a perfect example of Sweet’s power pop; “Something Someone” and “Ever After” are gorgeous, gently rocking balladry; “Show Me,” a dark exploration of a broken heart; and “Girl With Cat,” a lovely exploration of a newfound love with hook followed by hook and a biting guitar solo.
Sweet’s got some wordplay skills as well, taking a phrase like “Out of My Misery” to write a love song a la the heartbroken “Someone to Pull the Trigger” from 1992.
At 12 songs and 44 minutes, “Tomorrow’s Daughter” is more concise and focused than its 17-song predecessor. For my money, that makes it a better record — and one of the very best of Sweet’s career. Grade: A.
— L. Kent Wolgamott