Monday Earworm: Matthew Sweet

In 1991, Matthew Sweet released an album which got enough fanfare for music’s casual fans to take note of its titular single, “Girlfriend.” The video showed Sweet singing to the camera in the dorkiest, most self-conscious way imaginable and a lot of footage from the anime film Space Adventure Cobra. I haven’t seen the whole film, but from the music video, it appears that SAC, like a lot of anime, isn’t probably meant for children. What the video utterly fails to capture is the impressive fact that Sweet played all the instruments on the album himself.

In 1991, I loved this song. I still do like it a lot, but my perhaps less exuberant feelings about it now are less from the song’s not holding up after a quarter-century — because musically it absolutely does — and more from probably reading too much into the lyrics, into the situation, into Sweet’s socially inept deadpan singing during the video, into the dramatically excerpted clip of the anime cartoon, and from being unable to escape this world which is too much with us.

Regardless, the song is kind of catchy, and the music itself is fantastic.


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