Inspired by a trip to Japan, Good Luck and Do Your Best is one of Gold Panda's warmest, sunniest releases, reflecting the colorful foliage of the island nation. The British producer continues to nick lush acoustic samples from scratchy old vinyl LPs for his tracks, and even more so than before, they feel like proper songs rather than sample collages, even as the instruments clearly sound sampled rather than being played live. He constructs his tracks the way a hip-hop producer would, particularly one who loves to chop up breakbeats and samples, but he also clearly loves house music. "Chiba Nights" leads off with rave pianos and a nice round bass tone before getting into a slightly chunky beat and a melody worthy of 808 State. "Autumn Fall" similarly Frankensteins a dance track from very crackly records, plucking warm organ licks and simple yet funky drumbeats, adding details and stutters as necessary. "In My Car" is more faithful to hip-hop, with big booming drums and looped vocal snippets, as well as the types of exotic samples (thumb pianos, Asian stringed instruments) Gold Panda is known for using. A bit of a nostalgic wistfulness seeps into the compositions, and with one titled "Song for a Dead Friend," it's clear where the inspiration stems from. "Time Eater" also mixes this type of slightly blue feel with propulsive, detailed dance rhythms, and this track particularly demonstrates how he's skilled at making abstract sounds come together in a way that makes sense. The main melody is played by a distant, clanging metallic instrument, and it could sound alien in a certain context, but here it's framed logically, and it resonates.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson