In 2007 Matthew Good played his song “Suburbia” at the Vancouver Centre during his acoustic tour. A number of years later I discovered and fell in love with the tune. The dynamic of Good and his acoustic guitar is something I could watch and listen to forever. It’s such a simple and tangible yet wholly surreal experience to listen to the pair complement each other so soundly.
A few days ago Matthew Good re-released “Suburbia” and the song that once brought me calm and tranquility through relatable lyrics provoked only anxiety. This new, revamped version is too loud, it’s too messy. I understand that artists choose to experiment with their sound. It’s a part of the process of reinvention and new directions. However, I don’t think that “Suburbia” was the right song to reinvent. The acoustic version bottles up so much angst and leaves what needs to be said unsaid so that each individual listener can attribute its meaning to their own situations. The new “Suburbia” uncorks that bottle and the unheard anger is now present and palpable as the heavy guitars weigh down what was once subtle.
As I’ve said, I understand experimentation is important and encourages growth as an artist and I’m sure there is something to be learned from this new version of “Suburbia.” Although I’m not sure his fans will necessarily understand what he’s trying to do I’m sure something good will come out of this new sound.
(Left original, Right re-release)