Album Review | POP

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, ‘Under the Covers, Vol. 3’

Covers albums tend to be scattered affairs by their very nature, as artists hopscotch through their favorite tunes by their heroes. So it is to the great credit of Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs that “Under the Covers, Vol. 3” sounds like a totally cohesive album. The power-pop master and the former Bangle expertly curate a set of tunes that suit their airy harmonies and shared affinity for jangly, Paisley-kissed pop, creating a dreamy throughline running from R.E.M.’s “Sitting Still” through to Lindsey Buckingham’s “Trouble.” The whole set is a treat but highlights include the duo — operating under their mod moniker “Sid n Susie” — skipping through the ultra-catchy Elvis Costello via Dave Edmunds gem “Girls Talk” and the sultry murmurs of Roxy Music’s “More Than This.” Hoffs even takes on the classic hit by her girl group buddies and inspirations the Go-Go’s, putting a lilting spin on “Our Lips Are Sealed.” The album’s peak, however, is the pair’s cooing take on the late, great Kirsty MacColl’s retro classic “They Don’t Know.” (Out Tuesday)
Sarah Rodman

ESSENTIAL “They Don’t Know”