After the Death of Grunge in 1994, the following year showed the world a new mix of music and a return of the old. This was the year that the Beatles made their surprising comeback with Anthology 1 and the song Free As a Bird, it was the year the Foo Fighters arrived on the scene with their legendary self titled effort, Oasis told us about a Wonderwall and Alanis Morrissette gave us her uncensored anger showing the world the results of a woman scorned.
Between the buzz for Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead, Alanis and Oasis, another album was released and all but ignored, that album is the subject of today’s article and is 100% Fun.
Why This Album
When I discovered 100% Fun, I was shocked on how Sweet had managed to capture all of my fears, doubts and insecurities in just one album. This collection of songs seemed to be written about my teenage angst ridden life and I could identify with nearly every one of them. Sweet sang about things like Self Loathing, uncertainly and the desire for love, he told us how confusing life was on songs like Come To Love and the difficulties of growing up in Get Older. These heartfelt messages were accompanied by a power pop sensibility that mirrored that of my favorite band The Posies but still managed to remain unique.
The thing that strikes me about the album now, nearly twenty five years later is that it has a deeper meaning to me as a middle aged man. As a kid I saw this album talking about my teenage angst and frustrations, I mean the title 100% fun was taken from the suicide note of Kurt Cobain himself so of course it was about my frustrating teen life. Now, grown up and moved on, I come to realize that the album tells the tale of growing up from a self depreciating teen to a depressed and lonely adult. It covers every emotional moment a person goes through as they travel through life, even talking about how you come to love the things you once hated. It is fascinating how your perspective can change the meanings of songs over time but an entire album, that is pretty incredible as far as I am concerned.
All in all, this is a great pop album from the mid nineties that is still as impactful today as it was all those years ago. Sweet’s voice and music still resonate to this day and are worth rediscovering.
Walk Out: There is something about this song and it’s acoustic guitar riffs that just pull me in every time. The opening segment is pretty tight. All about not being happy with who you are and the reminder that it is only temporary.
Smog Moon: I love the somber almost sullen tone to this song. It really captures the feel of the term Smog Moon.
Come to Love: A Song of learning that sometimes everything you do is futile and you learn to love what you used to hate.
Ok, Where do I get it?
This is one that is readily available on Spotify and totally worth a listen. You can sometimes find it here too for around $16. Give it a go and rediscover just how good Matthew Sweet is. Trust me, you’ll like it.
Late to the Game 10/22/2019
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