In 1995 Matthew Good Band release their first album, "Last Of The Ghetto Astronauts", which although strapped under a very small label, sold many copies, thanks to singles like "Symbolistic White Walls" and "Alabama Motel Room", both bass heavy numbers. Their 1997 sophmore release, "Underdogs" sported a new branched out style and a few hits of its own, including the dark ballad "Apparitions" and the heavier "Indestructable".
1999 was the year that really brought things up for the band. Their third effort, "Beautiful Midnight" went double platinum, thanks to a whole set of new fans who adored radio songs, such as: Hello Time Bomb, Load Me Up, Strange Days and The Future Is X-Rated. The album really set off sparks with both critics and fans and was the one that really put them on the map. With every good album then comes the pressure to release a better album, which is just what they did in the eyes of their fans. "Audio Of Being" came out in 2001, after the destruction of Matthew Good band half-way through the making, leaving Matt to finish it himself. Out of any, that would have to be the album most worth buying and is definately their hardest and most versatile effort, although not sporting any huge singles and was not fully acclaimed critically, the album was definately the biggest for fans.
So after a few good albums and a harsh break-up due to inner turmoil, Matt Good decided to go solo with his debut LP "Avalanche", sporting a much softer feel and features various symphony bits as well as very well-ranged vocal abilities. The album was a hit but was did not measure tot he huge success of Beautiful Midnight". Two huge hits did come of it though, being "Weapon" and "In A World Called Catastrophe", which were two huge radio hits.
The beginning of the CD generlly shows both sides of the album right away. The album opener, "Pledge Of Allegiance" is more of a quiet song with not a lot to it and is somewhat angry and dark in a way, a very non-hard-hitting song, but suprisingly sounds very good to me, has bells in-between verses for good measical measure. The only thing missing with this song is some sort of change or climax, pretty good album opener. The second song, "Lullaby For The New World Order" is easily my least favourite on the CD. I've tried hard to see something good in it, but I just can't. His voice isn't at it's peak in this one and it's just not that good of a song to me.
The first single, "Weapon" really shows off this album's strong features. It starts off just with Matt and an acoustic guitar with some background pieaces then gets into every instrument including orchestra parts, then changes up once more, and dies back down. This song is very hard to wear out, sports very deep and moving lyrics and is worth the critic appraisal. The second single, "In A World Called Catastrophe" is definately meant for the radio. It's more of a poppy song but has very catchy verses and lead guitar. The chorus has really well-ranged vocals, the second chorus is reversed for some wierd reason though, kind of making a bit of a mess in that little bit of the song until it measure back out to normal.
And here comes the second hard-hitting section of the album. The title track, "Avalnche" is definately the darkest song on the album, as well my all-around favourite, as it is to most who own the album. Starting with an almost scary vocal section with an acoustic in the background, which then leads into a flute section until a build-up leading to the chorus which really hits you hard with great vocals nd neat sounding instrumentals. The 3rd quarter of the song is the climax with effected vocals but still sounds pretty neat, soley because of the great instrumental work. A definate listen for people who haven't heard this album and are undecided on it. Track 6, "21st Century Living" starts off with just some people tlaking about ambition and supersizing things, kind of funny words are said. Then Matt come sin the background of the tlaking with a guitar until the chorus which is very powerful, featuring my favourite line on the CD: "A deer in your headlights so GUN IT!" Ah, I love it.
Now enters the last half of the album, which I see as it's own section because they are mostly pretty soft and don't stand out as much. Number 7, "While We Were Hunting Rabbits" is the longest on the CD with a great drumline and cooled-down vocals. But is definately a little too long, as it doesn't really go anywhere form the beginning. "Bright End of Nowhere" has some really good background guitar styles and makes for a really cool-sounding song, a sadder one. "Near fantastica" is a little break from a couple of softer ones. It tells a great story. A loud chorus, guitar solo and its suitable 8-minute length make it a great listen.
Another song that lacks a certain something, "Song For The Girl" switches between Matt with jsut an acoustic, to Matt with drums then to a bit of everything, which happens to be the chorus that almost takes away from the song, the vocal style and rythm in it just don't appeal to me and in my books is down there with track 2. "Double Life" starts with a delayed guitar and vocals until a drum comes in. The chorus is alright, but once again doesn't add to the song as much as it could due to the rythm of it.
Track 12, "A Long Way Down" starts off really neat with cool drum and effected symphony parts. angry vocals add to the great rythm and the song sports piano in parts. The first chorus is just Matt then goes back to the normal style until a great climax then the final chorus, like the first. The sogn ends with drums and piano. The album closer, which I thought should have been "Avalanche" is simply jsut Matt and an acoustic guitar.Drums come in later with a bit of piano, the vocals are a bit excessive for the lacking instrumentals until the near the ending, where the song starts to sound pretty damn good, then closes the song the way it started.
A very good album, I still like Audio of Being better, but this definately beats White Light Rock & Roll Review and, in my opinion, Beautiful Midnight. Some songs were a bit lacking or just didn't sport the best style, but the album had a lot of good strong points. Weapon, Avalanche and Near Fantastica are good listens for those of you undecided. I cannot wait until matt Good's third effort, which comes to us in 2007. Thanks for reading, soon I will do a couple CDs that have not been previously reviewed, so keep an eye out.