I was browsing through iTunes the other day and came across a mention of Matthew Sweet’s 1995 album 100% Fun, which happened to be one of the first CDs I bought as a teenager. To my frustration, I no longer seemed to have the album anywhere, but I really wanted to hear it again, so I broke down and bought the digital copy after a few days of vacillating. It’s so great!
The “power pop” sound of this album didn’t really fit in with the alterna-grunge vibe of the mid-’90s, and that might be one reason that I didn’t give it the credit it deserved at the time, and it didn’t make the cut of CDs to take with me when I went to college a few years later. But the classic, super-catchy tunes of 100% Fun are even better than I remember as I listen to them 13 years later, even though I’m finding again that this album doesn’t really fit in with the music that fills most of my life (this time, indies, experimental rock, folk, and other oddities). The first track, “Sick of Myself,” has quickly become a rediscovered favorite, for its bittersweet lyrics over a memorable melody.
It makes me a little sad to think about how Matthew Sweet has never became a huge name, even though his sound is perfectly suited for mainstream mega-hits. At the same time, there’s no way that he’ll ever go away. (And I hear that “Girlfriend,” from his earlier breakout album, is on Guitar Hero II, so there’s that.)