Wednesday, January 27, 2010

4. Avalanche - Matthew Good (2003)

(Taken from the SCQ Review:)

As thematically loaded as Avalanche is – especially compared to his previously addictive but one-note intensity – every idea and sentiment owns its own stereo territory here. The arrangements on ‘Avalanche’ seem to reflect his sort-of-a-protest urgency and most are new to Good’s repetoire: the electronic textures of ‘Near Fantastica’, the cut-up vocal climax of the title track, and some gorgeous back-up by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on ‘While We Were Hunting Rabbits’, among others. As well as sharing a newfound sense of sonic-adventurism, each of these just-mentioned songs detail Good’s first pushes away from commercial success by crafting eight-minute epics that appealed to neither radio nor casual fans.

Although I expect his forthcoming album to challenge his best work as forcefully as Hospital Music did in 2007, Avalanche remains a turning point and his hard-fought salvation. Years after its release, Good would mull this record over and decide that had he created it all over again, he would’ve cut ‘Double Life’ and ‘Long Way Down’ from the album’s back-half. And although I completely agree that it would’ve made a wonderful album damn-near perfect, even the rough edges of Avalanche have grown, albeit more sluggishly, into the lush folds of its majority.

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