Girlfriend (album)

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Girlfriend
Studio album by Matthew Sweet
Released October 22, 1991
Recorded 1990 at Axis Studios, New York City
Genre Power pop,[1] alternative rock
Length 60:19
Label Zoo
Producer Fred Maher and Matthew Sweet
Matthew Sweet chronology
Earth
(1989)
Girlfriend
(1991)
Altered Beast
(1993)
Music sample
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [2]
Robert Christgau A− [3]
The Music Box 4.5/5 stars [4]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [5]

Girlfriend is the third album by alternative rock musician Matthew Sweet. It was released on Zoo Entertainment in 1991.

Recording[edit]

Recorded in 1990 following Sweet's divorce, he later said to Rolling Stone, "It's funny how the album ended up showing everything I needed to feel. Everything I needed as an antidote is there."[6] He told Entertainment Weekly, "People say, 'This is your big breakup record - will you still be able to write good songs?' I'm sure I'll be just as depressed at some other point in my life."[7]

Overview[edit]

The cover of the album features a photograph of actress Tuesday Weld from the late 1950s.[8] Originally called Nothing Lasts,[8] the album was retitled following objections to the title from Weld.[9]

The music video for the title track (which aired on heavy rotation on MTV, MuchMusic and Night Tracks) featured clips from the anime film, Space Adventure Cobra, while the video for another one of the album's singles, "I've Been Waiting", used clips of the Urusei Yatsura character, Lum Invader.

The tracks, "Evangeline" and "Your Sweet Voice", were both followed by the sound of a vinyl outgroove and a phonograph needle lifting off of a record, which was meant to signify the end of each side of the album as though it were an LP (thus making the final three songs on the album to be, conceptually, considered bonus tracks). The song, "Winona", was named after (but not about) actress Winona Ryder,[8] while the aforementioned song, "Evangeline", is sung from the point of view of Johnny Six from the comic book, Evangeline.

Release[edit]

Released in October 1991, Girlfriend is Sweet's most commercially and critically successful album to date, with AV Club labeling it the best power pop album of the 1990s.[1] The album peaked at #100 on the Billboard 200 album chart.[10] The Village Voice, on their Pazz & Jop critics' poll, listed Girfriend as the #7 best album of 1991.[11] The title track hit #4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and #10 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. "Divine Intervention" hit #23 on the Modern Rock chart.[12]

15th Anniversary Edition[edit]

In 2006, the album was remastered and released under the "Legacy Edition" label,[13] with three bonus tracks (originally released on the "Girlfriend" single, subtitled "the superdeformed CD", and also available on the Japanese version of the album), plus a second disc of home demos, live versions and session recordings called Goodfriend. Subtitled "Another Take On 'Girlfriend'", Goodfriend was a promotional CD partly distributed through Sweet's fan club, and was not commercially released until the Legacy Edition.[14] 'Goodfriend' was the original name of the title track, but after early listeners universally misheard the lyric, Sweet changed the title to "Girlfriend."

Theatrical Production[edit]

A theatrical production entitled Girlfriend, inspired by Sweet's album, debuted in 2010 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA.[15] The play was written by Todd Almond with songs from the album Girlfriend as well as subsequent Matthew Sweet albums.[16][17]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Matthew Sweet.

  1. "Divine Intervention" – 5:37
  2. "I've Been Waiting" – 3:36
  3. "Girlfriend" – 3:40
  4. "Looking at the Sun" – 4:16
  5. "Winona" – 4:59
  6. "Evangeline" – 4:45
  7. "Day for Night" – 2:55
  8. "Thought I Knew You" – 2:57
  9. "You Don't Love Me" – 5:21
  10. "I Wanted to Tell You" – 4:30
  11. "Don't Go" – 3:24
  12. "Your Sweet Voice" – 3:54
  13. "Does She Talk?" – 3:27
  14. "Holy War" – 3:25
  15. "Nothing Lasts" – 3:33

Legacy Edition bonus tracks

  1. "Good Friend" (demo) - 3:36
  2. "Superdeformed" (demo) - 4:09
  3. "Teenage Female" (demo) - 3:54

Track Listing for Goodfriend - included with "Legacy Edition"[edit]

All songs written by Matthew Sweet, except where noted.

Goodfriend promotional album cover
  1. "Divine Intervention" (acoustic) - 3:05
  2. "Girlfriend" - 2:52
  3. "Day for Night" (live) - 3:21
  4. "Thought I Knew You" (live) - 3:57
  5. "Looking at the Sun" (acoustic) - 4:15
  6. "Does She Talk" (live) - 4:23
  7. "You Don't Love Me" (live) - 6:47
  8. "Someone to Pull the Trigger" - 3:53
  9. "I've Been Waiting" (live) - 3:45
  10. "Winona" (acoustic) - 4:30
  11. "Girlfriend" (live) - 4:05
  12. "Cortez the Killer" (Neil Young) (live) - 6:28
  13. "Isolation" (John Lennon) (acoustic) - 3:01

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Power Pop. By Noel Murray. AV Club. Published March 19, 2009.
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r19504
  3. ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?id=907&name=Matthew+Sweet
  4. ^ http://www.musicbox-online.com/reviews-2006/matthew-sweet-girlfriend.html 6/28/06
  5. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/matthewsweet/albums/album/102129/review/5944166/girlfriend
  6. ^ Rolling Stone, November 28, 1991
  7. ^ Entertainment Weekly, April 17, 1992.
  8. ^ a b c Matthew Sweet talks about his excellent Girlfriend, a September 1992 article from The Tech
  9. ^ Matthew Sweet Looks Back on 20 Years of 'Girlfriend'
  10. ^ Billboard.com album page
  11. ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/pnj/pjres91.php
  12. ^ Matthew Sweet singles chart history at Billboard.com
  13. ^ Girlfriend [Deluxe Edition] from the Legacy Recordings website
  14. ^ Rarebird's Matthew Sweet Reviews
  15. ^ Puckett, Jeffrey Lee. "'Girlfriend' uses Matthew Sweet's music to tell 1990s story at Actors Theatre". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Chiu, David. "Matthew Sweet's 'Girlfriend' Musical Opens in California". Spinner. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Horn, John. "In 'Girlfriend,' Matthew Sweet's lyrics tell the story". LA Times. Retrieved 15 February 2013.