Blue Sky on Mars
Matthew Sweet just rewrote the formula of his last three albums. While his recent releases forked over 50 percent of the focus to snarling guest lead guitarists (Robert Quine, Richard Lloyd), Sweet needed a new flavor. So he matched his usual sugary melodies to denser production, hinting at everything from the Beach Boys to ’80s new wave. There’s less lyrical surprise or sonic edge, but on Blue Sky on Mars, his power pop still has the knack.