This is one of the few cds that I still listen to, more than a year after the initial purchase. That says a lot. There's an incredible depth to this album that makes it difficult to appreciate at first, but then impossible to become tired of. Rock is very tired lately, and I'm afraid this album is going to bomb stateside. I mean, c'mon. Britney Spears and Limp Bizkit rule the scene down there; I don't think there's room for the intelligent, passionate, sometimes subtle music of the Matthew Good Band.
This is not to insult Americans -- it's just a simple fact that good music isn't widely appreciated, anywhere. Even in Canada, Matt Good plays second fiddle to Our Lady Peace, who are, granted, a great band, but one that lacks the solid, creative vision of Matt Good.
It's hard not to love this band, and this cd. There are simple, thrashing rockers (Load Me Up, Everything is Automatic), spare, melancholy songs (I Miss New Wave -- unfortunately not on the American version), lyrically frustrated, desperate, and passionate tunes (Failing the Rorschach Test, A Boy and His Machine Gun) and then moments of sheer musical brilliance (Suburbia). The band throughout shows an incredible range of texture and sound, but there is a totality and wholeness to this cd that I haven't come across anywhere else. I think some of that might be lost with the American version, because some songs have been removed, and some hits from Underdogs (1997) have been slipped in. The added songs are great, but don't fit in with Beautiful Midnight as a whole. This shouldn't discourage you from getting this disc, however.
There are very few rock bands out there that can put together a solid album, nevermind one that as deceptively complicated, powerful, lyrically brilliant, and human as this one. This isn't some rap-rock 40 minute static-fest with one or two decent, radio-friendly songs. Heck, some of the best songs here would never make it to radio. This disc is a complete work, which can only be appreciated as a whole.
This band doesn't exist single-to-single. They make great videos, but aren't based on an image. Each album is a progression, an improvement from the last; they seem bent on creating the perfect rock record, and with this they've just about done it. I can't wait until the spring, when The Audio of Being is released in Canada -- I want to hear what an album better than Beautiful Midnight sounds like.