Picks and Pans Review: Earth

updated 04/10/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/10/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Matthew Sweet

The Golden Palominos was the ad hoc downtown New York supergroup led by Anton Fier. It always seemed as if Fier could have found a better singer than Sweet, a young Nebraskan who popped up as a vocalist on one Palomino record. No doubt he could have. But Earth vindicates Fier's taste. Sweet may not have a very good voice—it's the soft spot in this presentation—but he shows up on the slightly quirky, fairly talented pop artist register somewhere between Jules Shear and the men of R.E.M. Earth, his second album, is a cohesive package of simple, striking pop music. Using a minimal rock backing—his primary collaborator is cult guitarist Richard Lloyd—Sweet keeps the focus on his songs. Some, such as "The Alcohol Talking," "Easy" and the Neil Young-like "Children of Time (Forever)," are as infectious as the Asian flu. And the symptoms—mild foot-tapping, whistling along, paying attention to the lyrics—aren't all that unpleasant. (A&M)

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