Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Second Listen: "Girlfriend"

I never realized how much Matthew Sweet’s 1991 top ten single “Girlfriend” rocked until now. Sure, it’s melodic and catchy as hell, with irresistibly sweet (how fitting) harmonies and backing vocals. But it’s the instrumentals that allow it to rise above the level of simply “just power pop” – those squiggly, squealing lead guitar lines, the tight, powerful guitar riffs, and that funky instrumental breakdown. I was especially struck by the lead guitar work, and it turns out it was Robert Quine, who came up as an atypical punk guitarist with Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and then later went on to do some well-respected sessions with Lou Reed, among others. He’s #80 on Rolling Stone’s list of greatest guitarists of all-time. The studio version is great, but the band could bring it live, too – here they are rocking the Dennis Miller Show…

MP3: GirlfriendMatthew Sweet

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