MAY 22, 2017
“I’VE BEEN WAITING” (WRITER: MATTHEW SWEET)
ARTIST: MATTHEW SWEET
RELEASED 1991 ON CD SINGLE AND ON CD GIRLFRIEND
Matthew Sweet’s 1991 album Girlfriend is stuffed with terrific pop-rock songs.
Picking just one from this bag of glittering gems is difficult stuff, but the second track, “I’ve Been Waiting,” is not only Sweet’s perfect pop moment, it’s among the greatest pop-rock tracks ever.
Start with a quality song. Sweet combines a strong major-key melody with words of vulnerability, mixing the strong and the soft. He then lays his sublime lead vocal and harmonies above a tight rhythm section and guitars that jangle, crunch, scream, and chime. “I’ve Been Waiting” is just long enough, and is recorded and mixed perfectly.
The musicians on Girlfriend are superb. Guitarists Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd and drummers Ric Menck and Fred Maher deserve special mention. What they play gives the songs much of their muscle and their intricacy. Lloyd’s solo on “I’ve Been Waiting,” for example, truly has it all: melody, drive, tone, and the swagger that says, “I am a great solo.”
Nothing about the sound of "I've Been Waiting," or in fact the Girlfriend album, betrays any particular technological DNA or date stamp. It's timeless rock and roll.