Good split with his band in lieu of a solo career after Beautiful Midnight’s follow up album, The Audio of Being, with a steady flow of excellent solo material: Avalanche, White Light Rock Review, Hospital Music, Vancouver, and now the recently released Lights of Endangered Species.
Good has always traversed the line of mainstream and indie Canadian rock. With his last album, Vancouver, he had re-signed with Universal Music Canada rather than independently and the album went on to win “Rock Album of the Year” at the 2011 Juno Awards. After several months of touring, Good was back in the studio for his 5th outing as a solo artist to record his recently released album, Lights of Endangered Species.
The album itself is an interesting concept on its own. Some time back I had read somewhere that Good had been planning this album for quite some time. He imagined an album that was heavily orchestrated. With this new album he has brought this concept to fruition. The question is: is it any good?
The answer: yes and no.
Like I said, I really love everything Matthew Good has to offer so I was not only excited about this new album, but after listening to it several times I want to really love it the way I adore his other albums. The issue, though, is not as much a matter of like or dislike as it is a matter of mood for me.
None of the tracks on this album stand out particularly well on their own, but perhaps that is because of how well the album holds up as a whole. Each song has a way of supporting the next which build into a really breathtaking experience.
The real issue lies in whether or not the individual songs are of any particular worth. While I will say that they are still much better than a majority of the music played on the radio these days, there still are no real standout tracks that bring me back for a single song listen.
Even the first single released, In a Place of Lesser Men, is somewhat lacking in the excitement department. The song lacks any real emotional momentum and never really picks up like we expect our Matthew Good tunes to do. Yet when you listen to the song as part of the rest of the album, it has a real place within the whole.
Standout songs for me are, What if I Can’t See the Stars Mildred?, Zero Orchestra, and Set Me on Fire.
Ultimately, the more I continue to listen to this album, the more I continue to appreciate it for its willingness to be something different and experiment with orchestral variety. The album as a whole has had a way of growing on me and while I can’t see going to it to find individual tracks to listen to, I will in fact listen to it for the complete album experience. In a society where everyone is looking for the next hot single on the radio, it is quite refreshing to see an artist going out of their way to give the full album experience to the fans.
Fans of Good’s previous albums will no doubt have similar mixed feelings about this new release. But I imagine that most will end up truly appreciating it for what it is.
As individual songs – 3.5 out of 5
Album as a whole – 4.25 out of 5
Review By: Mark.HaTe
- Extraordinary Fades
- How It Goes
- Shallow's Low
- What If I Can't See The Stars Mildred?
- Zero Orchestra
- Non Populus
- In A Place Of Lesser Men
- Set Me On Fire
- Lights Of Endangered Species
Lights Of Endangered Species by Matthew Good