Rolling Stone (4/6/95, pp.61-62) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...A wooly blend of pop hooks, rock & roll fervor and fine love songs, 100% FUN is a better album than perhaps even Sweet had any right to expect....a rock & roll record with immediacy, verve and depth that discloses its appeal readily and its secrets slowly..."
Spin (12/95, p.62) - Ranked #7 on Spin's list of the '20 Best Albums Of '95.'
Spin (4/95, pp.196-197) - 8 - Highly Recommended - "...Quine and Lloyd are still around, which is only proper: You wouldn't walk away from a challenge, would you? And this time you're up to it....Electric? Guitar is still here, but she works for you. For now."
Entertainment Weekly (12/29/95-1/5/96, p.132) - Ranked #8 on EW's Top 10 Albums Of 1995.
Entertainment Weekly (4/14/95, p.64) - "...Sweet crafts pop the old-fashioned way: with loud guitars, lovesick-wimp lyrics...and choruses that will encourage amateur singers to warble along....[100% FUN] makes you feel as if a good pop hook can solve any crisis..." - Rating: B+
Alternative Press (4/95, pp.77-78) - "...Imagine if Neil Young had released 20 years of Crazy Horse albums one after the other in the space of merely six, instead of interspersing them with all that other stuff? You'd know exactly what to expect every time, but that wouldn't spoil the shock of discovery, the thrill of the bombast and the essential fact that Young writes amazingly wonderful songs. So does Sweet..."
Musician (6/95, pp.70-71) - "...offers zero-percent bile....Even when the lyrics wax pessimistic...the hooks and arrangements--graced by the guitar work of Richard Lloyd and Robert Quine--project a buoyancy and bite that preclude cynicism..."
Village Voice (2/20/96) - Ranked #20 in Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
Personnel: Matthew Sweet (vocals, acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, piano, electric piano, electric harpsichord, synthesizer, bass, theremin); Brendan O'Brien (acoustic, electric & slide guitars, piano, electric piano, electric harpsichord, Clavinet, Mellotron); Richard Lloyd, Robert Quine (electric guitar); Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar, electric lap steel guitar, mandolin); Stuart Johnson, Ric Menck (drums).
Recorded at Southern Tracks Recording Studio, Atlanta, Georgia.
Starring the same cast of characters who helped him sculpt previous works--guitarists Richard Lloyd (Television) and Robert Quine (Richard Hell & The Voidoids) along with Velvet Crush drummer Ric Menck--100% FUN brims with the power-pop hooks that Matthew Sweet has become known for.
Helmed by uber-producer Brendan O'Brien, the album retains Sweet's veiled cynicism, whether it's the self-loathing of "Sick Of Myself" or the feeling of abandonment in "Walk Out," a song whose point is point driven by O'Brien's insistent harpsichord playing. Sweet's desperation culminates in the semi-delusional vibe ebbing from "Lost My Mind": while Menck plays a constant militaristic cadence, Quine and Lloyd riff in and out of the song and O'Brien's mellotron pulses and oozes in a vortex that has Sweet's voice ebbing in and out of a fog.
While the scenery around this part of Sweet's psyche may seem familiar, the tight production and crack playing groove enough to shed some light on this darker side of town.