Twenty years on, I remember the first time that I heard “Sick of Myself” by Matthew Sweet. My cousin Brian had just gotten the record from whence it came, 100% Fun. Brian had just gotten into playing the guitar, so we used to sit and listen to all kinds of music, and this particular song stuck with me after all this time. I wouldn’t recognize anything else from the album right now, and the only other song I’ve ever heard from Sweet is “Girlfriend,” mostly because of its appearance on one of the original Guitar Hero games.
Sweet was a singer-songwriter during the burgeoning alternative music wave that enjoyed dominance through much of the 90’s, and he hit his stride with this release in 1995. There is quite a bluesy influence in “Sick of Myself,” which is evidenced by the tone of the delightfully sloppy, almost seemingly-improvised guitar solo (seriously, it’s all over the place). That bluesy tinge adds personality to this otherwise grungy tune. Add to that an insanely catchy, if self-deprecating chorus, and you have a solidly-crafted pop hit on your hands.
The song is one of my favorites from the 90’s, and of all-time. As a matter of fact, it retains a steadfast position on the 25 Most-Played songs list on my iPod. Fun, catchy rock such as this is a transcendent style of music, as it brings in fans with predilections towards all genres. The music video for the song is featured below, which depicts Sweet playing all the instruments needed for the tune, which lends itself to the do-it-yourself feel.
Check out Matthew Sweet’s “Sick of Myself,” from a time when we we had tape decks in our cars, and popped CD’s into disk changers, and had to physically carry our music around with us, without having it all on a smartphone.