Matthew Good
Hospital Music
The infamously contentious Matthew Good was markedly affable upon the release of White Light Rock and Roll Review in 2004, looking as if he loved to play shows again. Then he fell apart. Diagnosed as bipolar, he also got divorced and OD'd in his parents' shower. He wrote the aptly titled Hospital Music while in recovery from that suicide attempt. It's a sprawling, angry, resolute beast, often more sonic experimentation than album, with a dense mix of bicycle wheels and turntables turning, bells tolling and the traffic sounds and kid voices found on every Good recording. The opener, "Champions of Nothing," clocks in at a radio-unfriendly 9:33, featuring a soaring guitar solo, monster drums from Pat Steward and lyrics like "There's something in your "too cool for school'/as you slide up and down my pole." But Good has always been a gritty songwriter—the hits he had were accidental, and many of them embarrassed him and helped grow the meathead audience he never wanted. Hospital Music is a big fuck-you to all of that, a complete downer with no obvious singles and titles like "99 Percent of Us is Failure" and "She's In It for the Money." But a beautiful, spare closing cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End" not only provides a little hope, it maybe allows some insight into why Good fought his way back from that hospital in the first place.
Tara Thorne
categories: Coast pick,Canadian artist

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