Music Review: Matthew Good’s ‘Arrows of Desire’ hits its mark

After the release of Matthew Good’s Lights of Endangered Species album in 2011, many fans of the Canadian musician wondered if Good had fallen too far down the rabbit hole of complex and intricately arranged alternative rock music. Would he ever release a more easily accessible album that harkened back to his earlier work?

On Sept. 24, Good answered that question affirmatively when he released Arrows of Desire, a stripped-down rock record that, sonically and lyrically, more closely resembles the work of his former group The Matthew Good Band than his later and more experimental solo releases.

When Good announced earlier this year that he would be making a return to an earlier and more commercially viable sound on Arrows of Desire – the title of which was taken from a line found in the William Blake poem “And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time” – many fans wondered if this was a commercial rather than a creative decision.

Though the songs found on Arrows of Desire are rather straightforward, to say Good sacrificed his creativity in making this record would be way off the mark.

Unlike Lights of Endangered Species – which was heavily influenced by modern and big band jazz as well as the post rock sounds of Explosions in the Sky – Arrows of Desire was birthed out of Good’s love for the alternative rock music of the late ‘80s and the early ‘90s. Good has stated in several interviews that his rediscovery of such bands as The Afghan Whigs and The Pixies was what inspired him to make his latest record.

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