You know when you find a song and you just can’t get enough? A track that you’ll start over before it’s even done because you never want it to end? The song that becomes the reason for the repeat button? Here I’ll tell you what song I’ve been listening to over and over again – new or old – and why you should check it out.
MATTHEW GOOD BAND – “GIANT”
You know sometimes you forget how much you loved a record and decide it’s time to revisit? A little while ago I decided to go back and give Matthew Good Band’s 1999 album Beautiful Midnight a listen from start to finish.
Except I couldn’t get past the start part of that mission. As soon as those cheerleaders faded in with the “K-I-C-K-A-S-S, that’s the way we spell success” – the memories came flooding back. It’s a high school cheer, and this was a record that shaped my high school life and the very first track, “Giant” was, fittingly, a song that defined my very first relationship.
This is a flawless album opener – spreading big and wide and introducing you to the ANGUISH that’s so palpable on Beautiful Midnight. It somehow seems hopeful and painful at the same time, and in a way, that’s what a first love is like. You’re kids. You know, somewhere down there, that this might not be the person you’re with forever but GODDAMMIT you sure feel like it is. And those feelings? THEY’RE HUGE. THEY’RE EARTH-SHATTERING. THEY’RE UNREAL AND BEAUTIFUL and when things start to fall apart… you can barely breathe or function and that’s where this song goes.
“Giant” takes you on a grand tour of emotion. The climax of that tour are the lyrics:
“When you blow out
Like a dead star
It reminds me how uniform
Your beautiful is”
I have a distinct memory of laying in a bedroom, with that first boyfriend, right after breaking up… with this song on. (At least I think I do. He might read this and disagree, but I’m going with it.) We laid there, broken hearted and changed and I remember us saying this was going to be for the best… but the line… “a better happier you” – and the bitterness you can hear in Good’s voice when he sings it, right before that chorus about blowing out like a dead star – always stuck with me. It’s hard to believe the future holds that “better happier you” when you’re in that moment.
(Note: The more I write about it, the more I realize this is coming off as a long, retrospective diary entry and I have no idea what the song actually about but I don’t care.)
Either way – this song gives me goosebumps and makes me want to wail the words out on a rooftop with my arms spread wide open. I can’t believe I forgot about it but I haven’t been able to stop listening to it for like two weeks now so let’s reminisce and remember the old times and feel the feelings and think about those times when they felt so overpowering that there was nothing else in the world. When they were giant.