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Matthew Good is a multi-platinum selling Canadian recording artist, best known for his signature vocal style, guitar-driven melodies, and cinematic lyrics.
He began his career as the frontman for the Matthew Good Band, one of the most successful Canadian alternative rock bands during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Rock radio staples such as “Hello Timebomb,” “Everything Is Automatic,” “Indestructible,” “Apparitions,” and “Load Me Up” made the group a household name, selling out shows throughout Canada over seven years and four full-length album releases. Along the way, the group picked up Juno Awards for Best Group (2000) and Best Rock Album for Beautiful Midnight that same year.
After disbanding in 2002, Good started writing and recording his first solo record, 2003’s Avalanche, which marked a creative departure from his earlier work but had no trouble finding an audience. Hailed as a masterful work of emotional and intellectual depth, the album struck a chord with critics and audiences alike and set Good’s solo career on a rapid, upward trajectory.
Avalanche clocked in at just under 70 minutes long, making it clear he had plenty to say, and audiences were ready to listen. With long, complex melodies to get lost in and in-your-face protest rock, his solo work would prove to be the cure to the short and vapid pop songs of the early 2000s, almost prophesying the darker times to come.
With his award-winning 2009 record Vancouver, Good countered the corporate patriotism of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics by shining a light on those in the margins of the major Canadian city, seemingly swept under the rug to make way for parades and celebrations. Indeed, Good’s music has often given a voice to the under-represented.
To date, Good’s body of work includes thirteen full-length studio albums, four EPs, two compilation LPs, and one live album. He has been nominated for 21 Juno Awards throughout his career, with solo wins for Rock Album of the Year for Vancouver and Video of the Year for 2003’s “Weapon”. He has also garnered eight Top 10 radio singles in Canada as a solo artist, including “Weapon,” “In A World Called Catastrophe,” “Alert Status Red,” “Born Losers” and “Last Parade.”
He has never been one to shy away from pushing musical boundaries. Through his music, Good’s defiant spirit anchors a vulnerable, unapologetic outlook on life while offering glimpses of hope and reminding us there is beauty in the world. Never one to bite his tongue, his hyper-awareness of the world around him, including political, socio-economic, and mental health issues, has earned him accolades for his thoughtful and deliberate approach.
Good is also widely credited as having originated the phrase, “first world problems,” having included the ubiquitous words in his song “Omissions of the Omen.” The lyrics to the song, taken from the Matthew Good Band’s 1995 album Last of the Ghetto Astronauts, state, “Wait for me if I don’t show up, take from me this hypocrite’s cup, somewhere around the world, someone would love to have my first world problems.”
His most recent studio album, Moving Walls, was praised as his strongest solo effort, and a “haunting and cinematic piece of art.” One reviewer even opined that on Moving Walls, Good had moved “into the shoes left vacant by Leonard Cohen.” But despite the somewhat morose tone of the record, “Good’s vision embodies the immediacy of the ordinary, and a life discovered between the cracks,” another review concluded. “Ever the fantastic wordsmith, Good uses misty-eyed symbolism and how’d-he-get-from-here-from-there metaphors to add oceans of depth to even the simplest acoustic songs. Simply put, he has a deep love of words and the crafting of a phrase.”
As the world, politically and culturally, continues to spiral into seemingly darker and darker places, Good has been there in lockstep, to hold up a mirror to society’s adoration of violence, the hypocrisy of those in power, and the injustices everywhere that permeate his music.