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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Matthew Good
Universal Music Canada

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Everyone has a favorite band, or a favorite song that, no matter what, whenever they listen to it, it takes them somewhere else. It may be that it takes them away from it all, or simply back to a moment in time they never wish to forget- whichever, it's something that he or she can connect with.

Let me preface this review by telling you that for me, that band I could connect with above all else was the Matthew Good Band. With every new release, as the band matured, so did I. The music and lyrics of the ensemble, creatively driven by it's namesake Matthew Good, truly became an enormous part of my life. During my high school days, Matthew's voice became almost more comforting than that of my own mother. And at risk of sounding even more like a dork, I have to say that when Matthew Good Band broke up I was devastated. Nobody likes to hear it when his or her favorite band has broken up, least of all me.

However, I can put all that loss behind me now because Good is back, and quite possibly with the greatest record of his career. To say that Avalanche is a massive departure from Good's previous efforts would be a lie, but with the loss of one word from his recording moniker Matthew's gained a new direction, adding songs of greater political and social commentary into his mix of narratives and shrouded introspection.

Good's most scathing affair is the critical "21st Century Living". Half spoken word, half characteristic Good, this song attacks our seemingly inherent selfishness and preoccupation with consumerism. Conversely, on "Bright End of Nowhere" Good seems to take a look at his own, personal shortcomings, and in doing so creates one of the high points of this record. Good's haunting melodies and emotionally charged vocals invite you in for a closer look; "The lights are out baby/ And I'm a mouse."

Matthew's greatest triumph, however, is the masterpiece and title-track "Avalanche," considered even by Good to be one of his greatest pieces. Good's vocals here are the strongest they've ever been as he calls out the chorus, "Avalanche, start inside of me." Just as Good's vocals build and wane, the music itself becomes equally tumultuous lending itself to the elegant simplicity of acoustic guitar and strings one moment, while incorporating samples and technological effects the next.

Nevertheless, Good's mainstream rock past isn't completely behind him. "Double Life," the most 'rock' song on the album, is somewhat of a sonic throwback to his days with the Matthew Good Band. If you're looking for Mr. Good to completely rock out, I'd suggest Matthew Good Band's Underdogs, but if you'd rather treat yourself to an album you can grasp-hook, line and sinker, then Avalanche won't let you down.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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