TOMORROW AND TOMORROW

Prior to 2017’s Tomorrow Forever, the last Matthew Sweet album of original material was 2011’s Modern Art. In between was the third volume of Under The Covers, the charming series recorded by Sweet and ex-Bangle Susanna Hoffs.

Matthew Sweet’s personal circumstances had changed considerably in the intervening years: he re-located away from Los Angeles to Nebraska (where he was born) and was confronted by one of life’s inevitable transitions, the death of a parent. 

One thing that did not change was Sweet’s ability to pen a terrific power pop song. Tomorrow Forever had no less than seventeen of them, covering the range you’d expect from this seasoned craftsman. That’s a generous serve of songs, but it was a long way from exhausting the stock in Sweet’s musical larder. Tomorrow’s Daughter was released in 2018 to accommodate a further 12 songs that didn’t make it onto the preceding disc. To emphasise the ‘companion’ nature of the album, the cover art is again by Jean Maio, another of her ‘big eye’ harlequin works from the sixties. (Is this retro ‘lounge room’ art an acquired taste? Have to say, I’m not in love).

This is solid, dependable, Matthew Sweet. Sometimes (eg: “Off the farm”) I’m reminded of nothing as much as a melodic Neil Young fronting an upbeat Crazy Horse. Good tunes, strong choruses, fabulous harmonies; Sweet delivers his songs with conviction and class. There are no surprises, and few (if any) low spots. If there are few jaw-dropping moments of excitement either, then that is perhaps more to do with the strength of his 90s albums (Girlfriend and Altered Beast, in particular) than any lack here. Except, perhaps, in one area. Although Sweet is an excellent electric guitarist, as is current six-string ally John Moremen, his past deployment of buzz saw musicians Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd added a cutting edge and flying sparks, something not so obvious here. None-the-less, fans will enjoy both Tomorrow albums, while newcomers might well be inspired to check out Matthew Sweet’s rich back catalogue.

From Tomorrow Forever (2017) check out “Pretty please”, “Music for love”, “Carol”.

From Tomorrow’s Daughter (2018) try “Girl with cat”, “Ever after” (to sample the country influence)

 

26 comments

  1. Oh cool – I love a lot of his 1990s stuff but haven’t really kept up past that album he released in Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly worth checking out when the mood calls for Matthew, G.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m currently enjoying the Bert Jansch you recommenced a few months ago. It makes for a nice respite from Mary Poppins.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Supercalifragelisticexpialidocious. Though don’t quote me.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. From Tomorrow Forever I’d pick Circle and Trick alongside Carol (a real Matthew Sweet gem); and from Tomorrow’s Daughter my picks are Lady Frankenstein and Passerby.

    I was “pretty please”d (get it!?) that the Tomorrow’s Daughter collection didn’t feel like an album of outtakes or leftovers, but stands up well on its own!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. Together the two are a swag of Sweet, and no mistake. Thanks for sharing your picks, Ryland.

      Like

  3. I’m not familiar with his work from the last couple decades – my personal favourite, Sick of Myself, could certainly be considered exhibit A of his ability to pen practically perfect power pop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 100% Fun is such a great album. I’m not sure whether any of Matthew’s 21st C albums surpass his 90s work, but they certainly augment it. Ryland’s suggestions are worth spinning; his knowledge of the Sweet universe is deep.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. pinklightsabre · · Reply

    Just noticed your ultra-clean blog post classification system there, old Hoss. Was it always that way or have you recently updated it? Fancy. Makes me feel unclean and out of sorts, with mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for noticing, Bill. Did a little tidying up recently, though basically the same system I’ve been using for a while. Hard to know how used or useful that stuff is, though for a music blog a search function and album list aren’t a bad idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pinklightsabre · · Reply

        Well nice work Bruce, whatever you did, I noticed!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Have to say, I’m not in love either (with the cover art). Guess it’s an acquired taste. Girlfriend and 100% Fun are longtime favorites. Streaming Tomorrow Forever on Spotify right now and really liking it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Continuing to stream and continuing to like. Great stuff! Circle, Haunted…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Spot on. It’s the haunted, melancholy aspect of Matthew’s work draws me in. Having said that, I really must review the Sweet/Hoffs collaborations. They’re great fun.

        Like

  6. I have bypassed Sweet so many times, maybe it’s time to pay attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When in the mood for a trip to Power Pop Central, he’s yer man.

      Like

  7. I like the artwork. It’s naive approach appeals to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gah! Scratch the apostrophe …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Didn’t even see it, mat’e. The art of Jean Maio certainly screams 60s and I can see there is a kind of kitsch charm, but I don’t think I’d want to line my loungeroom with them! But what do I know. I still reckon lava lamps are cool.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I needed a Matt Sweet reminder. Why I tune in here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to oblige, CB. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not that familiar with Sweet. More name than anything (I know I’ve heard a few tunes, but I couldn’t tell you what they were and if you rhymed them off I couldn’t tell). But, I’m all in if it involves some great melodies and power poppery.

    Re: the art… it’s not doing much for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kenneth Ezelle · · Reply

    Hi, I saw the painting and wanted to let you know I think I own a later version of it painted by Maio. The title written on the back is Carnival.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really interesting; she seems to have enjoyed the theme. Oil on canvas, presumably.
      Thanks for adding to the story, Kenneth.

      Like

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