Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Wanted To Tell You

I've been listening quite a bit to Girlfriend lately. Despite Scott's prescient warnings to avoid listening too often to masterpieces at the risk of taking away even a shred of their stunningness (and he's right), I haven't been able to help myself lately with this album. Matthew Sweet has never done anything better, but that's hardly fair to say. Because honestly, very few people have ever done anything better than this 1991 piece of immortality.

But I have always gotten so caught up in the brilliance of the albums earlier tracks (it's hard to find many albums anywhere that could ever beat the five song run starting with "I've Been Waiting" and culminating with "Evangeline"), that I've forgotten that tucked deep inside the 15-song collection is some rather amazing gold. Songs I rarely think about first, second or third when I think of this album, but just knock me over with how good they are.

Case in point right here. Just beyond the midpoint of Girlfriend comes this song. A virtually perfect pop song, with some of the extra special touches Sweet always seemed so good at employing: Richard Lloyd's jagged, menacing guitar, the soaring harmonies at the chorus that lend such a rich glow, and the plaintive, searing ernestness of the lyrics. Girlfriend is an album filled with sadness and poignance that delivers the goods over and over again. Never moreso than on "I Wanted To Tell You."

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