Release Date: Jul 21, 2009
Record label: Shout! Factory
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative
Working out of his home studio, Sweet—joined by drummer Ric Menck and multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz—nails every sonic nuance, buried under cumulous clouds of glorious boy/girl harmonies. The sheer joy that permeates thrilling performances like The Raspberries’ “Go All the Way” and Derek & the Dominos’ “Bell Bottom Blues” makes for a captivating listen. .
A sequel to Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs' 2007 stroll through the '60s was perhaps inevitable, at least as inevitable as the decision to devote Under the Covers, Vol. 2 to the super sounds of the '70s. Sweet and Hoffs tend to pick '70s songs that are a bit more familiar than their '60s selections, never digging out a Me Decade equivalent of Marmalade's "I See the Rain" or the Zombies' "Care of Cell #44," but instead punctuating AM pop hits and FM rock staples like "Sugar Magnolia," "Second Hand News," "All the Young Dudes," "You're So Vain," "I've Seen All Good People," and "Maggie May" with power pop by the Raspberries ("Go All the Way"), Big Star ("Back of a Car"), and Todd Rundgren, who has no less than two songs from Something/Anything? featured here.
In 2006, as you’ll no doubt recall, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs charmed the pop-loving world with the winning, if slight, Under the Covers, Volume 1, an album’s worth of ‘60s-era pop/rock cover tunes (“Cinnamon Girl”, “The Kids Are Alright”, etc.) whose title hinted at a companion volume. It took a few years—Sweet released the underrated Sunshine Lies in 2008, while Hoffs, uh, cashed checks whenever someone used “Walk Like An Egyptian” in a commercial and worked with George Harrison’s son Dhani’s band, thenewno2—but Volume 2 has finally arrived. It finds the duo moving ahead one decade, though very little else in their repertoire has changed.
Matthew Sweet and former Bangle Susanna Hoffs have a pretty sweet deal going on with these Under The Covers compilations. The first edition was "Sid n Susie's" fave tunes from the 60s. Now they're covering 70s classics. Meanwhile, a million Friday-night bar bands ask, "Why not us?" [rssbreak] Sweet and Hoffs's pedigree separates this covers comp from the chaff, which is why people like Lindsey Buckingham guest on their inspired version of Fleetwood Mac's Second Hand News and George Harrison's kid, Dhani, on their take on Beware Of Darkness.
After addressing the '60s on Under the Covers Vol. 1, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs direct their musical tribute to the '70s on Vol. 2. Like Vol. 1, this album features able renditions of classic tracks from Grateful Dead ("Sugar Magnolia"), John Lennon ("Gimme Some Truth"), Big Star ("Back of a ….
Covers albums are inherently hit-and-miss affairs. Unless the approach is artistically wild and radically re-interpretive (like Petra Haden’s a capella take on The Who Sell Out) or marked by sharp generic contrasts (like the reggae Radiohead covers record, the bluegrass Dark Side of the Moon or Seu Jorge’s hipster-friendly Portuguese Bowie tunes), the proceedings tend to resemble the unfortunate outpourings of fans. Even the most accepted cover records are held more as amusing curios than as cherished art, novelties rather than objects of lasting aesthetic worth.
While singer-songwriter Matthew Sweet and Bangles? frontwoman Susanna Hoffs tackled mostly ’60s tunes on 2006’s first Under the Covers collection, the follow-up, Under the Covers Vol. 2, finds them running through ’70s songs such as ”You’re So Vain” and ”All the Young Dudes.”? The result is a skilled and, if you like extremely faithful covers, enjoyable set. They even enlist Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Yes’ Steve Howe to play on, respectively, ”Second Hand News” and ”I’ve Seen All Good People.” At their current rate, the pair should start performing songs from the future around Vol.