Matthew Sweet provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Cover Changes the Meaning: “Beware My Love” by Wings is sung from the viewpoint of a jilted lover warning that his replacement will mistreat the woman he’s leaving while the narrator in Sweet’s version is an abusive lover apologizing for his misdeeds.
- Cover Version: He contributed a cover of “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” to the tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits (the same album with The Ramones‘ breakneck cover of “Spider-Man”, incidentally).
- Creator Breakdown:
- Girlfriend, Altered Beast and even 100% Fun, judging by some of the lyrics.
- The audio clip from Caligula in the middle of Altered Beast would also seem to be a sign of this.
- Darker and Edgier: Altered Beast
- Engrish: The title of Kimi Ga Suki is an inverse of this. As Sweet explains in the album’s liner notes: “If I did it correctly, the title should seem a little strange or wrong, but still meaningful! The true definition is supposed to be a ‘love you’ life, one devoted to loving someone or something, even life itself!”
- Epic Rocking: “Thunderstorm”.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: “Divine Intervention”.
- Longest Song Goes Last: At least three uses – In Reverse ends with 9:37 “Thunderstorm,” 100% Fun ends with 4:13 “Smog Moon,” and Sunshine Lies ends with 5:07 “Back of My Mind.” Inverted with Girlfriend, which put its longest track, “Divine Intervention” at 5:37, first.
- Lyrical Dissonance: “Sick of Myself”.
- Religion Rant Song: “Divine Intervention” isn’t as angry as XTC‘s “Dear God”, but it does pull a Holding Out for a Hero on God (the chorus goes We’re all counting on his/divine intervention) and voices doubts about his benevolence (Now does He love us?/I look around/And all I see is destruction).
- Spoken Word in Music: “Intro,” from Altered Beast is a clip of dialogue from the film Caligula.
- “Untitled” Title: “Untitled,” from In Reverse, works the word into the lyrics.