Goofing Off

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Since I am now an exceptional employee, I feel obligated to use any break time that I have to goof off, offsetting my work success for me personally, without actually interfering with it. So, without further ado, a brief review of a CD/DVD set I bought recently (if you choose to buy it, buy it from Amazon.ca, it's about half the price that Amazon.com has it for, and it's actually available now, alas, I get no money when you do that).

Anyway, the CD/DVD set I want to talk about is "In A Coma - 1995-2005" by Matthew Good/The Matthew Good Band (they broke up and he when solo about 4 years ago). Most people outside of Canada, and watchers of MuchMusic have no idea who Matthew Good is. Apparently he's very big with our soon to be annexed friends to the north. It's not too surprising that he never caught on down here though. As this collection shows, the musical style is pretty typical, almost formulaic hard rock, with the occasional ballad tossed in. I never would have heard of him either if one day I had not been doing search on Kazaa for "New Wave" and come across "I Miss New Wave", possibly the most despairing song that I have ever heard, and I am an aficionado of depressing music. The song just dripped with loss, longing, and the sense of a wasted life. I liked it, needless to say, a lot. I then ran across the video for "Anti-Pop" a great rock song with a neat video that, upon further listening is also pretty depressing.

Since then I have sought out more and more of his stuff, buying the CD "Beautiful Midnight" because I feel an obligation to actually pay money ad support artists that I like.

When I heard that "In A Coma" was coming out I started looking forward to it, since it's a best of, not a greatest hits and has many, many songs that I had downloaded on it, so I could salve my sense or rightness in a single purchase.

Overall, it's a great set. The first CD contains the "best of" stuff, with highlights "Giant", "Generation X-Wing", the aforementioned "Anti-Pop" that I already new, and some songs I have never heard before like "In A World Called Catastrophe" and "Oh Be Joyful". Overall it's a 90% good songs CD. Understand that this is despite the fact the I am not a big traditional rock fan - the lyrics really make it up for me - his whole rock for losers vibe compels me to keep replaying it.

The second CD (only in the deluxe version) contains rarities and acoustic remakes of old songs. A couple of the rarities are things I have heard, and overall their great. "Fated" is a song that always gets to me. The acoustic versions are okay, but they lose a lot of the anger that drives the originals, ad seem a little muddy in tone overall. "Apparitions is good though.

The DVD (also deluxe only) is uneven. The early videos are, as you would expect from a Canadian indie band, poorly produced from a technical standpoint, with transfer glitches. Some of them just don't work, like the video for "Rico" which for me doesn't match up to the song. Some of them are great though, "Anti-Pop, which I mention above, "Apparitions", and "Alert Status Red", a video that includes footage from the columbine shooting security cameras in a really powerful and effective way.

I actually don't know anyone else, personally, that would like this set. Most of it is so dark, so lonely, and yet so affecting to me personally that I have a hard time recommending it to others, because, well, obviously you wouldn't get it. For that reason, and that reason alone I think I can recommend it to just about anyone - very few artists have an impact on me like Matthew Good has. It's not that I like the music, or even the lyrics, it's that he has a message and a tone that makes me feel something. If it can do that for me, then maybe it will do it to you too.

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This page contains a single entry by edgore published on October 7, 2005 1:35 PM.

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