Hospital Music review by Matthew Good

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jul 30, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (19 votes)
Matthew Good: Hospital Music

Sound — 8
Matt's changed his approach on this album. If you remeber back to Avalanche, he had his songs drenched in the sounds of the vancouver symphony orchestra while he kicked in your teeth with his heavily distorted guitars. But then he'd get all introspective and tiny again, just to give that contrast. Well, he's back at it. But this time, the strings are nowhere near as prominent. The distorted guitars seem to have changed their course in his musical outings. None of the songs sound like they are trying to drill into your skull by being as loud as they possibly can (which seems to be a common misconception among more and more bands today). Instead, he approaches each one, thinking through each chord and vocal line. He played all the instruments on the album except the drums, and it blends together perfectly, providing one major thought for each song. Matt also plays his interpretation of two covers on this album, something he has not previously done (excluding the cover of Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence on Lo-Fi B-sides [re-released on In a Coma]). Both of these covers are standout tracks on the album. The first cover is The Dead Kennedy's "Moon Over Marin". this cry of despair about pollution is played slow, and downbeat, bringing out the dark lyrics to the forefront. The second cover is Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End". Matt takes this brilliant (but short) song, and turns it into his light at the end of the tunnel. It gets an eight, because as much as I love the new sound, there is a part of me that wishes my teeth had been kicked in again at least once.

Lyrics — 10
Matt's lyrics have always been anything but subtle. They tend to come across as bouncy, shakey even. it seems as though the person who is writing them has a million things to say, but still manages to stay on topic and focused on the particular speech he is about to make to you. His lyrics give off matt's feelings over the last year. Songs like "She's In It For The Money" bluntly states his pain and anger over his divorce. Born Losers, the first single, touches on the same topic. These songs are so passionatly written, that he moves your heart along with the tempo, just so you can understand every last detail of his stories. Another track that stands out is the politically charged "Black Helicoptor". Matt blatantly says how he feels, bashing the US's approach to war, and their destructive personality, not to mention his feelings about W. Bush. "You're gonna get what you deserve/not a bullet less/hey, sammy, ain't ya heard? /only killers call killing progress." Perfect ten here. His lyrics have always been his forte, and this album is no change.

Overall Impression — 10
Hospital music is a trip. a trip into the mind of a man who, over the last year struggled with the divorce of his wife, the diagnosis of his bipolar disorder, and the near fatal accident that brought upon the diagnosis. This album is some of the best work matthew good has ever put out. It sounds nothing like anything he's ever done before, but it provides the safe familiarity that his long time fans will appreciate. This could quite possibly be his most moving album today. his haunting opening with the repeated "Love is a strong word. I hate you." Recording followed by the epic 9 minutes and 35 second "Champions of Nothing" shows you that this album isn't bullshittin' ya. Matt's relentless honesty and forwardness about his beliefs, struggles, and hope show the listeners just how much music can move you if you let it. If this album plays tracks 1-14 and you still have felt nothing, then don't worry, the album closes with the quietest song on the album. Matt plays his cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End" giving a glimmer of hope and happiness. If you still feel nothing, then you are made of stone, and I commend you. If you're ready to relearn everything you thought you knew about love, life, and pain, then this album's waiting for you. It's an experience like no other.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nice review. Matt does seem to be veering away from the ballsy alt-rock single approach he used to take. This still doesn't beat the likes of Beautiful Midnight, but I think it could possibly be his strongest solo album yet... well, tied with Avalanche, anyway. It's disappointing how few fans of him there are outside of Canada. Or at least, fans I can find. Listen to Matt Good, people!
    this is by far his best album. i can't wait to go see him on october 25th and 26th
    Yeah, this albume is good.. I have one of his guitar pics!
    absolutely brilliant album, i love it matt good is a huge inspiration