Power-pop throwbacks passionately embrace their sources of inspiration
In 2006, Sweet and Hoffs demonstrated with engaging ’60s collection Under The Covers Vol. 1 that revisiting rock standards is a viable aesthetic pursuit. Like its predecessor, their new ’70s retrospective uncannily re-creates indelible tracks from primary Sweet inspirations Todd Rundgren (twice), Big Star, Fleetwood Mac (with Lindsey Buckingham guesting) and Yes (ditto Steve Howe), while also giving Hoffs a chance to wrap her crystalline voice around unexpected choices like Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” and Bread’s “Everything I Own.”
Working out of his home studio, Sweet—joined by drummer Ric Menck and multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz—nails every sonic nuance, buried under cumulous clouds of glorious boy/girl harmonies. The sheer joy that permeates thrilling performances like The Raspberries’ “Go All the Way” and Derek & the Dominos’ “Bell Bottom Blues” makes for a captivating listen.
Listen to Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs on their MySpace.