Matthew Good Vancouver

Matthew Good Vancouver

Unfortunately, Vancouver doesn't present itself as the best healthy antidote to Good's previous record, Hospital Music. It pushes hard towards anthemic arena (or radio, at least) rock but every song follows the same direction of instruments and feelings. It's almost as if Good has put up a hard front after the vulnerability he established on Hospital Music but now it's one of those days where it's not convincing. Good has turned to the west coast for this record, remarking on places of personal meaning. There's more relationship drama, emotional distress, tries at becoming stronger, etc. However, in terms of quality, the best songs aren't until the latter half of the album, where Good's trademark warble is in its own league and the fast guitars have reached a good forward momentum. "A Silent Army in the Trees" has a catchy chorus of chord progressions, "Fought to Fight It" and "VNA" are tales of building up strength and independence, and closer "Empty's Theme Park" ends the album with a faint thought that there could have been a lot more slow beauty put into it. (Universal)