Matthew Sweet Branches Out On New Album

April 17 [7:55 EST] -- Pop maestro Matthew Sweet has branched out with his latest release, "Blue Sky On Mars," the highest charting album of his career which entered "Billboard" at 66 last week.

In the past, Sweet recruited two New York guitar legends for backup (one-time Void-oid Robert Quine and ex-Television member Richard Lloyd), but this time out, Sweet handled all the guitar parts himself. He even took a crack at playing that arcane oddity, the Theremin, an instrument that's played without being touched, on the album's first single, "Where You Get Love" [900k QuickTime video].

"A little bit of Theremin playing makes it on [the album]," says Sweet. "There's a song called 'Missing Time.' It kind of ends the record that I played some Theremin on. And the very end of 'Where You Get Love,' the single, has a little Theremin piece. Everybody cringes and gets in a bad mood whenever

I go, 'Hey, maybe I'll play Theremin on this!' because they have to sit in the studio and listen to it be out of tune forever and ever" [1MB QuickTime].

Sweet returns to the road in San Juan Capistrano, California on Thursday.

And by the way, the Theremin is featured in a fascinating documentary called "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey," now out on home video.