Matthew Good

Arrows of Desire

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By most measures, Matthew Good is a survivor, the kind of rocker who's carved out a career on his own terms. He's a star in Canada, winning a Juno in 2011, so there is a sense of assurance on Arrows of Desire, his 13th album. He recalls the classic alternative rock of the '90s in both sound and feel -- his vocal timbre can recall Matthew Sweet, and the guitar ballast any number of late-'90s bands, from Better Than Ezra on -- but, as a survivor, his sharpest skill is his craft. Good writes clean, efficient songs that balance soul-baring with sculpted melodies, and if the music feels somewhat frozen in time -- this is the kind of full-throated, big-budget alt-rock that was all the rage in the late '90s and isn't much heard in the new millennium -- it nevertheless is performed with a passion that gives it freshness.

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