Matthew Sweet, ‘Sunshine Lies’ (Shout! Factory)
It’s not the savviest 2008 career strategy to play immaculately executed ’60s and ’70s power pop, but few do it better than Matthew Sweet. Yoking fuzz-stoked guitars (credit Television vet Richard Lloyd) to gorgeous melodies derived from the Beatles and Big Star, Sweet serves up his best tunes since Altered Beast. If the chiming “Byrdgirl” doesn’t have David Crosby wiping away happy tears, he’s using again. “Flying” kicks like Crazy Horse without the mistakes. And “Feel Fear” is a ballad so timeless it could’ve been a radio hit during any decade in the past 40 years (except this one).