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In Reverse

80 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 12, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

To mix metaphors, for most of the 1990s Matthew Sweet didn't so much march to his own drummer as swim determinedly against many of the prevailing rough currents in rock music. For Sweet, the melodic sensibilities, adventurous arrangements, and production values of '60s and '70s pop have remained long-lost Holy Grails to be passionately sought. Closing out what he's termed rock's "dry decade" (for its production values, if not content), In Reverse hearkens back to Phil Spector's wall of sound and Brian Wilson's mid-'60s studio prime with a vengeance. (The great bassist of choice during those epochal recordings, Carol Kaye, is a key player here.) Epic in scope and harmonically intoxicating (if occasionally overwrought), this is an album by an artist measuring the distance between his reach and his grasp, his good sense and self-indulgence, his confidence growing with every back-to-the future track. --Jerry McCulley

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Millennium Blues 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. If Time Permits 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Beware My Love 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Faith in You 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Hide 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Future Shock 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Split Personality 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. I Should Never Have Let You Know 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Trade Places 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. What Matters 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Write Your Own Song 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Worse To Live 5:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Untitled 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Thunderstorm 9:37$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Volcano
  • ASIN: B00001O2UZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,042 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scott Slonaker on November 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Judging by its pathetic debut near the bottom of the Billboard 200, _In Reverse_ obviously does not seem high on the record label's priority list. (Sweet has two gold records, you know!) I bemoan this more than usual because _In Reverse_ may be Sweet's finest hour. _Blue Sky on Mars_ was largely a smudgy and meandersome mess with a couple of minor gems; this record bears very little in common with it. "If Time Permits" and "Thunderstorm" are the two best examples of the Spectorian production techniques that you've read about. I would go so far as to say that this one even trumps _Girlfriend_, long held up as Sweet's unassailable masterpiece. Among Sweet's albums, only this one and _100% Fun_ avoid the occasional spottiness that seems inherent in a style that aims for pop bliss in three-minute packages. Oh, and "Faith In You" rocks.
Don't let the lack of radio and MTV play dissuade you- _In Reverse_ is phenomenal.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Augello on April 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
With albums like "100% Fun" and "Altered Beast", Matthew Sweet has flirted with greatness for years. With "In Reverse" he finally gets there. This is Sweet at the top of his game: exquisite melodies, perceptive lyrics, artful guitar work, and brilliant production. Many reviewers have made comparisons to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, but the album this most reminds me of is Side Two of The Beatles' Abbey Road. Many of the songs run together, and the transistions are so invisible that you just fall into the next song and become enveloped by the melody. There's a little bit of everything on this album from scorching rockers like "Split Personality" and "Write Your Own Song" to the sad, wistful ballad "Untitled." The album ends with its masterpiece, the nearly ten minute long "Thunderstorm", a virtual pop symphony consisting of four different songs. While "In Reverse" does not feature one single great track like "Time Capsule" or "Sick of Myself", the album is more than the sum of its parts. It's a true album, best listened to from start to finish, as each song complements the next one musically and emotionally. I can't express how much I love this album. It's been a needed friend to me during a a very sad time in my life. If I'm every sent to that mythical desert island, "In Reverse" is coming with me.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charles D. Ungar on November 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I am still amazed that Matthew Sweet isn't a household name. This album is his best (and yes I love both Girlfriend and 100% Fun). There are at least 8 songs on this album that could be smash hits if radio had some taste and got off the boy band/rap merry go round. The Phil Spectre like tracks are amazing with headphones and the final track Thunderstorm is Sweet's Abbey Road medley.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mirage on April 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Matthew Sweet has outdone even himself this time. "In Reverse" is, quite frankly, one of THE best albums ever made, period. Listeners are in for one hell of a treat. "In Reverse" may look back to another era for some of it's inspiration, but it has a sound all it's own. A rich, vibrant one. In fact, some of the songs, such as "If Time Permits" and "What Matters" are absolutely drenched in that wonderful sound. Looking at "In Reverse," one can see all of the feeling and sounds from Matthew's earlier albums converge into what is his masterpiece. The rocker "Split Personality," will remind those familiar with his earlier works of the "Girlfriend" and "Altered Beast." "Faith in You," reminds me of both those albums and "100% Fun," a bit, but at the same time it's a new sound for Matthew. Hide is a slow, sad, and beautiful piano song that makes me thing of some of the songs on "100% Fun." Songs like "Millennium Blues," "If Time Permits," "What Matters," "I Shoulder Never Have Let You Know," and "Thunderstorm" are the ones I consider to be the most innovative. Matthew also uses Phil Specter's famous "Wall of Sound" technique on some of the songs. Choosing best tracks is too difficult for me, because they are all so incredible, except for "Beware My Love," which is not favorite of mine, but as with all of Matthew's Songs, is still great. "Thunderstorm," which is actually four songs cleverly woven into one, is the most outstanding though. I can't do it justice --- you simply have to hear it for yourself. This is a great album for any listener who appreciates truly high-quality music, whether they are new to Matthew Sweet or are long-time fans. "In Reverse" gives us the kind of songs the music world needs more of, especially in this day and age.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name Already Taken on June 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Matthew Sweet's In Reverse was his last big release of the 90s. Coming a few years after both his short and average "Blue Sky on Mars" CD, you can't help but wish and wonder if the strongest songs from both CDs had been combined into a single release would have done anything for their popularity, overall.

When I first bought the CD, one thing I noticed was how it didn't feel like there was really a single on the CD, but it almost required listening to from start to finish. The CD starts out with three songs that flow into one another as if they were a single long song, while closing out with a one song that is so long and varied that it might have originally been planned to follow the same plan. All in all though, the CD comes off as a lighter sound than his previous albums, but with a wider range of sound.

After relistening to the CD and revisiting the tracks, I get the feeling that this is actually something along the lines of a concept album or an attempt at an alternative rock opera, like Tommy, Lifehouse, Ziggy Stardust or maybe something along the lines of ELO's _Time_.*

But what could this mystery plot be if it indeed a concept album?

While I have no evidence to back this theory, and no one else has ever seemed voice a similar thought, there is very much the sense that these aren't just songs or songs linked in theme, but part of a plot. If you listen to the entire CD with that kind of mindset, it becomes a lot more interesting. *It's also important to note that since chatter has been that MS was a big ELO fan, it adds some credibility to the theory that he was doing his own version of a time-travelling concept album ala ELO's _Time_.

So, what is that plot?
Read more ›
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