One Dry Cracker

This is the third full-length Northcote album for Saskatchewan singer/songwriter Matt Goud (who now calls Victoria home). After hearing this album, I can honestly say that I do not have any interest in searching out and hearing the other albums. I found the songs a bit generic, flavourless, and simplistic to a fault.

It pains me to write a negative review, but through much internal strife and soul searching, I think it’s the right thing to do. When I first received the album, I made sure to situate myself and remove all distractions so as to give this artist’s work my undivided attention. With the dog walked, cellphone silenced, lunch eaten and a refreshing beverage at the ready, I positioned myself comfortably on the sofa and prepared to feed my ears. It didn’t take long before my ears had their fill, and were no longer interested in the Melba toast of sound being offered up. But, it was a beautiful day out, so I chalked it up to a timing issue and resolved to give this album another go later in the day.

So, several hours later, after a sunny day enjoyed and a solid base burn on my winter-paled skin, I repositioned myself on the sofa, another refreshment at the ready. I started the album from the beginning again, to give it my full attention and a complete listening. About halfway through, my kitchen started to look really dirty. Not just any dirty, but that procrastination dirty, like when you are writing an essay and scrubbing your toilet seems like a legitimate reason to stop this mind-numbing work and start a task that usually you would find revolting, but now has become the lesser of two evils.

So, several hours later, a kitchen cleaned, cooked in and cleaned again. I positioned myself on the sofa, yet another refreshment at the ready. I couldn’t do it.

So, the next day, a solid sleep had, breakfast made, situated on the sofa with refreshment at hand, we begin again. Perhaps it’s a change in my mood, or right mixture of food, coffee, and comfortable position on the sofa, but my opinion of some of the songs now range between meh, alright, and not bad. A bit of an improvement from the previous day, though still nothing that I would really recommend. I think this album would be best situated if you took the best songs from it and used it to as filler in a folk/singer-songwriter playlist.

The first few songs just made me think that Bryan Adams and The Boss had a denim wearing test-tube lovechild that is now making his own albums. I had moments where I would start to get into a song and the lyrics just didn’t seem to flow or, when coupled with the very simplistic, busker-style guitar, it just turned into a miss. I found there was nothing hooking me in that made me want to hear it again and again. In fact, I’m pretty sure I will not listen to this album again once my review is complete.

I found “Only One Who Knows My Name” to be the best song on the album, followed by “Drive Me Home”. The rest I don’t feel are worth mentioning. I would avoid this one. But, perhaps you have heard him before and love him. Music is funny like that. It’s food for you ears and there is a flavour out there for everyone.

Some people like Melba toast…