Matthew Good
Arrows of Desire


3.0
good

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
September 20th, 2013 | 48 replies | 5,735 views


Release Date: 09/24/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: White light rock & roll re-review.

Following the relative bombast of 2011’s Lights of Endangered Species, a fully-orchestrated album that represented the fulfillment of one of his oldest and biggest recording ambitions, Matthew Good returns to more familiar territory with Arrows of Desire, a forty-two minute slab of punchy radio rock that blends his trademark stoic lyricism with a few more introspective moments. The result is a collection of songs whose zeitgeist feels closest to 2004’s White Light Rock & Roll Review, an album commonly perceived by the listening public as the weakest and most dispensable member of Good’s solo discography. In that regard, Arrows struggles a bit at first in trying to establish some sort of identity for itself, a plight which is further exacerbated by the fact that it arrives on our doorsteps with less of a backstory than the bulk of Good’s more recent work (recall: Hospital Music was set against the backdrop of his crumbling marriage and a subsequent suicide attempt, whereas Vancouver was charged with his personal disillusionment with the poverty-plagued Downtown Eastside and the vitriol caused by his much-publicized opposition to the 2010 Winter Olympics).

Leading the charge for Arrows is the simplistic first single “Had It Coming”, which sounds as if it’s not quite finished but still manages to come across as fairly entertaining thanks to a dangerously infectious chorus. Elsewhere, “We’re Long Gone” features Good himself counting down his backing band before they collectively launch into a spot of crunching riffery that has all the watermarks of a Who-esque jam, while the soaring “Letters in Wartime” is probably the best closing track Good has had in his arsenal since “Sort of a Protest Song” ended The Audio of Being some twelve-odd years ago. The Canadian singer-songwriter even makes a few stabs at establishing some form of broader cultural solidarity with his audience: the title track, for instance, draws its name from the same William Blake poem that inspired the title of the film Chariots of Fire, while album highlight “Via Dolorosa” features the apocryphal rebuke of “Wait till I get my cross on straight!”, a direct reference to the plight that Jesus Christ faced on the path to his own crucifixion. “Guns to Carolina”, a broody slice of guitar-based balladry that vacillates in intensity throughout its four-and-a-half minutes, is also pretty great, but its success is overshadowed slightly by the fact that it constantly vibes like an older Matthew Good track – something of a weird cross between “Set Me on Fire” and “Volcanoes”, perhaps. But while it can be said that there are no obvious clangers on Arrows of Desire, chances are you’ll have forgotten most of its cuts within a month or two, which is unfortunate to say the least.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
KerfuffleinaHussle (3.5)
It may not be anything particularly new, but Arrows... certainly isn't the uninspired and wincingly ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2013



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've always wanted to give a "Good" rating to a Matthew Good album, and now I have reason to.

Stream: http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Matthew-Good

Gyromania
September 20th 2013



15199 Comments


alt review summary: not a mikesn review

Millstone
September 20th 2013



367 Comments


Like that guy from Watchmen.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 20th 2013



5784 Comments


while we were hunting rabbits

bloc
September 20th 2013



34675 Comments


Avalanche owned hard

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Ponton
Emeritus
September 20th 2013



5784 Comments


And I dance. And I sing. And I'm a monkey in a long line of kings

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2013



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

When we were young and hit like hammers

Ponton
Emeritus
September 20th 2013



5784 Comments


I'm just a boat on the ocean and I'm just a ship lost at sea

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rFY_gmkZCE

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2013



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Man I love that song.

Also - alert status red. But the sun comes up instead.

Scoot
September 21st 2013



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

his old stuff is awesome but he's clearly winding down

i'm sure this is still good stuff, overall his discog is very strong

Digging: Unjust - Glow

Scoot
September 21st 2013



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

his old stuff is awesome but he's clearly winding down

i'm sure this is still good stuff, overall his discog is very strong

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2013



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

his old stuff is awesome but he's clearly winding down

^ This.

And yes, the album is decent, but if I'm being absolutely frank, none of the songs on here would sit comfortably in the pantheon of Matt Good's best work.

bigguytoo9
September 21st 2013



239 Comments


I hate White Light.. own it. Don't think ill check this out anytime soon even though I am a big Matt Good fan.

InbredJed
September 21st 2013



5605 Comments


I'm going to see this tour at the end of November, and he normally plays quite a lot of new stuff, so I guess I'd better start spinning this.

KerfuffleinaHussle
September 21st 2013



729 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn, I was gonna review this! Think this is his most enjoyable in a while tbh. 'Via Dolorosa' is
fantastic

Brilliant writing as always though

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2013



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't let this write-up stop yours, Kerfuffle! Always good to have additional opinions - especially when they sit on the other side of the spectrum! =)

tcat84
September 23rd 2013



819 Comments


Sort of a protest song may be up there in my least favorite songs by him ever... Closer on avalanche is amazing as is the rest of that album... I was hoping this would be better than it seems to be

Hopelust
September 23rd 2013



946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't listened to it yet, but generally I find the vast majority of Good's albums get better as they go. Every song I've heard from this has been pretty great. I think this review isn't doin the album justice, but then again, I haven't listened to the whole album yet so I'll shut up.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2013



7140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think this review isn't doin the album justice, but then again, I haven't listened to the whole album yet so I'll shut up.

Yes, it would be quite silly if you kept talking about something you've not even tried ;)

SmersH
September 23rd 2013



404 Comments


Great read man, thanks. I'm enjoying this a lot more than Lights so far. Guns of Carolina is a highlight, for me.

Digging: Low - The Curtain Hits the Cast



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