Matthew Sweet must have a special connection with his Japanese fans, so much so, he recorded a whole album just for them. Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu was originally released on CD only in Japan back in 2003. 16 years later and the rest of the world is allowed to enjoy it. It features Rick Menck of Velvet Crush on drums and Television’s Richard Lloyd on lead guitar - the same line-up he had for his classic album, Girlfriend.
Limited Vinyl LP £19.49 GLAMLP013
Green coloured vinyl LP on Glass Modern.
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Matthew Sweet is a legendary rock musician who makes big-hearted pop rock and power-pop. After learning his chops in the 90s Athens scene that R.E.M. were birthed from, he went on to write and record some thirteen studio albums. 'Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu' is a 2003 album that was only released in Japan and is now being given a reissue by the good people at Glass Modern.
It's pretty hard to dislike this album. I tried a couple of times but there's something so unashamed about it. Yes, it's derivative in parts but it's always delivered so passionately. This is in no small part down to Sweet's vocal delivery which is somewhere between Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and Steve Perry (Journey).
It's interesting to hear how parts of 'Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu' have forecast modern music trends. Modern psych bands like King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and Thee Oh Sees definitely owe something to the frenetic scuzziness of 'I Love You'. Stu Mackenzie eat yer heart out. Other points of comparison I can draw are to the Modern Lovers and Television (Richard Lloyd plays guitar on this album) as well as heartlands rock 'n' roll like Bruce Springsteen.
'Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu' is a surprising album. Forever ploughing his own furrow, Sweet's sound has forecast later music trends alongside a more classic sound that demonstrates why he's an indie legend.
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