Spun: Matthew Good

Matthew Good has been a musical benchmark in Canada since he burst onto the scene in 1995 as the lead singer of the Matthew Good Band. Hospital Music, Good’s third solo album and seventh studio album overall, may represent the artist’s first misstep, though sales likely won’t reflect it.

Like most Good albums, Hospital Music is well-constructed and well-performed. The tone of the album is also more consistent than previous solo works, which has the unfortunate side effect of making songs bleed into one another. That’s not to say all the songs are the same, but rather there are no high-tempo songs to kick-start momentum. Hospital Music seems content to roam at its own pace and ends up turning out less radio-friendly than previous Good albums. There may not be as many four-minute hit singles as before, but longer songs like the nine-minute “Champions of Nothing” and quickies like the energetic, 53-second “I Am Not Safer Than a Bank” make up for their absence. It’s just disappointing that Hospital Music, much like hospitals themselves, is a tad depressing. Those craving fare similar to Good’s earlier solo albums may find themselves unsatisfied after Hospital Music. While the album exhibits Good’s musical range-he reportedly recorded the majority of the instrumentals himself-the fact that the album is consistently such a downer makes it a bit of a chore to get through.

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