Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Top Five Matthew Good/Matthew Good Band Songs

This is actually a pretty hard list for me. Since the first time I saw the "Load Me Up" music video on Canada's Much Music channel (we got it in DC for a while), I've been totally hooked on Matt's music, lyrics, and incredible eloquence. But hey, nothing easy is worth doing, right? So here goes. (And no, Apparitions is not on the list).

5. A Single Explosion
(Hospital Music, 2007)
When fellow Gentelman Jason Schlafstein had the pleasure of seeing Matthew Good premier new material in person on Dale Earnhart Jr's XM radio show, he later described the songs to me over the phone as "a return to form." He could not have been more right. After the staggeringly mediocre White Light Rock and Roll Review, I was starting to think the dream might be over. Shame on me. Hospital Music is maybe Good's most vulnerable, honest, and at the same time, brutal work, chronicling both his bi-polar disorder diagnosis, and separation from his wife. A Single Explosion, the second track on the record, was the first song that really blew me away on first listen. When the wall of sound hits about midway through the song, it is both powerful and overwhelming, a one-two punch to the ears that grips you with a solid intensity and doesn't let go until the song's close.

Favorite lyric-I’m affable, responsible, but hard to be around.

4. House of Smoke and Mirrors
(Avalanche, 2003)
While he has referred to Avalanche as "the toilet" in the past, I personally found the record to be an incredible step forward for the recently solo Matthew Good. It sounds completely different from anything the Matthew Good Band ever put out, heavily produced with frequent string arrangements, spacey synth sounds, and a growing presence of political awareness. Closing and opening records has always been a strength of Good's, and House of Smoke and Mirrors might be the best closer in his arsenal. It is sad, yet beautiful, and I will forever tie it to the spring of my senior year of high school, as I do with this entire record.

Favorite lyric-Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, right?

3. Invasion 1
(Underdogs, 1997)
I was once listing some of my favorite Matthew Good Band songs on my LiveJournal (back in the day) and remember being blasted by John Oats for leaving Invasion 1 off the list. Well, now it's here. Invasion 1 is a lyrical powerhouse, with an almost psychedelic feel at points. It's unapologetic, and easily one of the best.

Favorite lyric-Down a hole with the Grinch's antler dog and Yukon Cornelius, when I'm sober I need this.

2. Man of Action
(The Audio of Being, 2001)
If Invasion 1 is a lyrical powerhouse, than Man of Action is just a straight up powerhouse. This song never quits, and while it may not be his best song of all time, it's certainly Good's best opener. The Matthew Good Band started to take their sound in new places with The Audio of Being, the result of which eventually lead to the heavily produced sound of Avalanche. Man of Action is almost a thesis for the entire record, maybe even Good's career, and the way the song explodes on the last note is truly a thing of beauty.

Favorite Lyric-Between the night and day, with so few eyes left open, your forgiveness ain’t a neighborhood that i’m looking to live in.

1. Giant
(Beautiful Midnight, 1999)
So it's not the best opener, but that doesn't stop Giant from being my number one all time Matthew Good song. To me, this song encompasses everything that Good does right, heartbreaking lyrics, driving rock melody, and a certain subtle honesty that draws you further and further into the world of the song. From the second it starts, with a chorus of cursing cheerleaders (K-I-C-K-A-S-S! That's the way we spell success!), Giant continues to deliver, one of the reasons I'm so glad he's playing it live again (it appears on his last record, a live release from Canada's Massey Hall). Giant is just that.

Favorite lyric-I’m the creature in your sick thing, everybody sees a giant.


Be Thou My Vision said...

i like your song

Phoenix said...

You missed matthew goods greatest song of all called "Whispering In The Dark". Best song of his hands down most people haven't heard of it because it was only released on the demo "Broken" in 1992 by matthew friend to help get his music out there. If you can find the song I highly recomend you give it a listen.

Anonymous said...

You are here - off broken. Hands down best Matt Good track. The inescapable us- close second

Jason Heat said...

The Inescapable Us is wonderful

Anonymous said...

My god this list is utter shit