Saturday, 3 October 2009

Divine Intervention

Divine Intervention is the first track on the 1991 breakthrough album, Girlfriend from Matthew Sweet.

Sweet had been in bands from the early 80's in Athens, Georgia, where he collaborated with Michael Stipe and then Stipe's sister in a band called the Oh-Ok. In 1985 he went solo and signed with Columbia records where he released one album Inside to critical acclaim but limited sales. In 1989 he released a second album which sold just as badly as the first and as a result was dropped by his label and around the same time split from his wife.

In 1990 he started work on the album which would eventually see the light of day as Girlfriend but was initially titled Nothing Lasts. The title was changed due to the fact that Sweet wanted to use a picture of a 14 year old Tuesday Weld on the cover. Weld, those permission was sought to use the picture, then in middle age did not object but did have reservations of the connotations around the use of the picture and the album title and so Sweet changed the title.

When released, this album sold extremely well in the US and gave the artist the break he had been seeking. The theme of relationships in all their guises and Sweet's honest, confessional lyrics struck a chord with the record buying public and critics a like. The album has some really good rock tunes but most of all it is the ballads, such as Winona, a song about everybody's favourite shop lifting movie star that grab me, although the track posted in it's final form falls into the former category.

From the first chord of Divine Intervention I was hooked, there is something about the guitar sound on the track which got to me, it is almost psychedelic and when it comes back in, all too briefly after the false ending it sounds even better. I have also included the demo version which can be found on the second disc of the legacy edition of the album which is well worth investing in.

Matthew Sweet - Divine Intervention
Matthew Sweet - Divine Intervention (Goodfriend version)


Simon said...

The covers albums he's done with Susanna Hoffs lately are actually really good. I love a bit of power pop me!

drew said...

Can't stand that term Simon but you're right they are rather good. he also does a very good version of American Girl on the ALR records High School Reunion comp.