This album borrows elements from several of Good’s past releases – and it seems that he chose all the best parts.
An artist known for being opinionated and politically outspoken, Good’s greatest example of politicized lyrics would possibly be his 2004 release, White Light Rock & Roll Review, which was packed with direct political commentary. Arrows of Desire takes a slightly different route. Though there are political overtones, they are not displayed quite so plainly.
This album includes aspects of his personal inner struggle, which was strongly seen in Hospital Music, as well as political and social commentary, as found on his Vancouver release. But, in lieu of revealing these themes so outright, Good’s latest effort delivers ten songs steeped in metaphor. This time, he allows the listeners to make their own meaning of the songs.
Songs like ‘So Close’ feel like a throwback to the Matthew Good Band days, and right from the album’s opening it is evident that, even though Matt is nearly 20 years into his career, his voice is as strong as ever.
‘Arrows of Desire’, the instantly catchy title track, kicks things off with Matt’s voice taking the listener by the hand to lead down 42 minutes of solid new material to whet one’s musical appetite and deliver lyrics that put the mind to work.
In a recent interview, Good explained that the song ‘Arrows of Desire’ is about the flight of an arrow in battle, from the bow, until it reaches its mark. It is an inner conversation that the arrow is having about its meaning. This is the inspired sort of storytelling that will bring listeners back to examine the lyrics time and again.
Other highlights include the single ‘Had it Coming’, in which Good’s vocal delivery on the verses reminds me of Nick Cave, but Matt reveals it was inspired by the Pixie’s ‘I’ve Been Tired’.
‘Mutineering’ is a track that stands out as musically impressive, opening with a catchy guitar hook, stripping things back to a steady bass line, drums and vocals, and then building layers back on to fill out the song. Just the structure alone exemplifies Good’s ability to beautifully craft a song.
‘Letters in Wartime’ brings a solid close to the album. Beginning as only an acoustic guitar and vocals, the sonic wave washes in at the end of the first verse as the full band punches in. Arrows of Desire starts out pretty good, but quickly turns pretty great.
The album brings together all the best parts of Matthew Good’s song writing. With this new release, Matthew Good once again solidifies his place as a Canadian rock staple.
Take a listen to the singles from this album, and check out more from Matthew Good by visiting his website. www.matthewgood.org