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Matthew Sweet
Modern Art - MISSING PIECE
FILTER Grade: 70%

By Brooks Hays on September 28, 2011

 

Matthew Sweet

It’s always a delicate balance when you wear your musical influences on your sleeve the way Matthew Sweet does. Consider the intro track (“Oh, Oldendaze!”) of Sweet’s Modern Art. Even the slightest power-pop fan is bound to be ecstatic, with its beautiful modernist interpretation of Big Star guitar pop. But immediately, on the next up “Ivory Tower,” things take a boring, bland and unimaginative turn to Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles. While Sweet and his shimmery, jangly pop may be sometimes derivative, it’s never disingenuous, which makes Modern Art an enjoyable struggle—part gorgeous and captivating, but mostly been there, done that. Ultimately, Sweet’s dream pop is just too dreamy and without enough spunk, dirt, dust or grime to jar it out from a time gone-by. As it is, Modern Art remains behind the veil, smoke and mirrors of nostalgia—not wholly accessible to audiences, modern or otherwise.

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