Matthew Good / Matthew Good Band

Audio of Being

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Like vintage U2 jamming with Dishwalla, Matthew Good Band tempers their adult alternative pop sound with a healthy injection of spacy guitar and atmospheric production. The band delivers a respectable batch of songs on Audio of Being, although the hooks are not as memorable as someone might expect from the above comparison. The problem is that even though they have managed to find an effective form of delivering their music, the music still hasn't quite caught up to their ambitions. Tracks like "Tripoli" are atmospheric, well-played songs that are missing that simple hook that it would need to take it to the next level. The songs aren't bad, but they sound much more like bland radio pop than they probably intend to. Occasionally, a Greg Dulli-esque lyrical approach manages to give a song the punch it needs, like on the gorgeous ballad "Advertising on Police Cars." This song also has more of a soulful feel to it, something that also improves the sound on a few other tracks (most notably "The Rat Who Would Be King"). But Audio of Being feels like it's just short of being a great record, and instead is merely a decent release that hopefully points to an absolute barnburner the next time around.

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