Madeon – Good Faith: An Album Review
Madeon recently released his Good Faith LP, and I’ve been listening to it all day. I’ve found myself more interested in music and music production lately, and this LP inspired me to write my first detailed album review.
In this album review, I will:
- Score each track individually on a scale from 0 to 10.
- Share some thoughts about each track.
- Among those thoughts, I will share my favorite moment from that track, which is generally the moment or section that makes me feel the most intense emotion.
You can listen to all of Good Faith via your favorite music service by clicking here.
Dream Dream Dream – 9/10
Right away, it’s clear that this album is going to be something very different from what Madeon has produced in the past. We’re immediately met with vocals sung by a big chorus – some chopped, some clean.
There’s a lot going on in this track:
- A big choir
- Slow solo vocals by Madeon
- Fast solo vocals by Madeon
- Clean piano
- Piano dripping with reverb
- Clean, soft lead synth section
- Heavy, distorted lead synth section starting at 3:23 – which is awesome, by the way. Completely unexpected!
- Jazzy, flange-y synth starting at 3:39
That dizzy little section between 2:51 and 2:53 reminds me of something Daft Punk would do.
Favorite moment: I have three favorite moments here (I promise – I won’t have three favorite moments for any other track):
- The uplifting section between 1:51 – 2:21 fills me with pure joy.
- The way Madeon sings “your heart can heal the pain” at 1:19.
- That tiny, two-note, low synth hit at 3:27
All My Friends – 7/10
This is the first single that I heard off of this album. When I initially heard it, I was a little disappointed – it felt very “safe” in comparison to what I would have liked to hear from Madeon’s next big thing. This is a groovy track that I won’t hesitate to play in front of most people, but it’s not as special as the 10s off of this album.
I am a sucker for pan flute, so that little hit at 2:15 gets me good every time, and it’s my favorite moment of this track.
A runner-up for favorite moment is the combination of the “throat clearing” sample at 0:55, followed by the pattern-break of the distorted “hey” sample at 1:50 after a similar buildup.
The “throat clearing” sample reminds me of RL Grime’s Pressure.
Be Fine – 3/10
You know what? I actually enjoy finding tracks on an album that I don’t much enjoy. It means that the artist is trying to do something different across their music, and I deeply respect that.
This track isn’t as melodic, smooth, or groovy as I prefer. It’s too harsh and dissonant for my tastes.
Favorite moment: The tiny guitar lick at 3:13, followed by that big “HA!”
Nirvana – 9/10
This song and Mania are both 2 minutes and 32 seconds in length! Neat.
I envision this song belonging perfectly as the backdrop to some epic movie trailer, or Rocket League montage. It has a fantastic pace.
Favorite moment: 1:13 – 1:18. That section transition is totally awesome.
Mania – 8/10
The transition between Nirvana and this track is flawless. That transition and the few moments after we first hear the lead synth comprise my favorite moment of this one.
In the email that Madeon sent out upon the official release of Good Faith, Madeon said: “I wanted to capture the colors of this mysterious, sometimes dangerous joy I’ve been feeling in episodes lately.”
Between the rolling drums, fast synths, and soulful female vocals, that “dangerous joy” is captured in this aptly-titled track. By the end of this ride, I feel exhausted, and I’m grateful for the 15-second cooldown piano-and-whistle combination that caps this track.
Miracle – 10/10
Madeon masterfully mixed together the unique sections of this track like berries and cream to produce a song I’ll be returning to frequently. This is one of my favorite tracks from the album, so I’d like to break it down:
0:00 – 1:00
An introduction with a slow build. This section shows immense restraint on Madeon’s part. By the end of this section, I’m immensely ready for something special, but then…
1:00 – 1:33
…Madeon makes me wait. With this bombastic drum solo, those chopped, repeating vocals, and the rising pads, I know something huge is coming.
1:33 – 2:24
The groove begins. I am completely compelled to dance.
The hook of this song is incredibly catchy. There’s some very Madeon-style light guitar strumming in this section.
2:24 – 2:41
With slight variation, Madeon repeats 1:00 – 1:33. This interlude is shorter than last time, and it serves as a wonderful transition between the two catchiest parts of the song.
2:41 – 3:14
Groove, reinvigorated. This section is a variation of 1:33-2:24 and it includes some extra hi-hats, kicks, vocals, bass, and brighter background pads. The main vocals are downplayed in the mix in comparison to the groove. This section makes up my favorite moment of this track.
3:14 – 3:29
Let’s cool down with some twinkling synths and soothing pads. The song could easily end here, but instead we get a little bonus…
3:29 – 4:10
“Can you show me a miracle?” asks this jazzy vocalist among record static and soft organ after a very abrupt transition.
We’re left with a sound reminiscent of a slow train running over railroad tracks, and it’s beautiful.
No Fear No More – 9/10
Groovy. This one is like if Haywyre used breathier vocals and a child choir.
There are several notable moments in this track:
- 0:37: A surprising hit of synth.
- 1:20: Beautiful, starry arpeggios.
- 1:44: Love the way this grooves into the choir chanting “No fear! No more!” at 1:53.
- This is my favorite moment of NFNM.
- 2:12: BIG strings, BIG drums!
- 2:32: Let’s back off the big, and melt into something jazzy and relaxing.
Hold Me Just Because – 10/10
Hold Me Just Because simply makes me feel good. I’ve never heard a song quite like it before. I love the way Madeon transforms his vocals and the instruments throughout the song through use of various effects, like a flanger.
Favorite moment: Those dreamy synth arps at 2:10.
The final section in here, the part with the horns, reminds me of Pretty Lights, who’s another one of my favorite artists.
Madeon leaves us with:
Tu m’as encouragé à-
Bah à créer un truc quoi et-
You encouraged me to-
How to create something, and-
Heavy With Hoping – 6/10
There’s some really wonderful sections of music in this track, and I love the transition to the dreamy synths at 1:00. The section from 2:44 – 3:28 is great, but I would have preferred that the lead synths were less harsh.
The end reminds me of something Porter Robinson would create, and 3:37-3:43 is my favorite moment of this track.
This one just doesn’t stick with me like some of the other music on this album.
Borealis – 7/10
A fitting end to this album: Slow, relaxing, and ripe with meaning. In the beginning, a soft layer of white noise serves as clouds upon which we ride for this track’s duration. Our trumpets from HMJB return with confidence, playing a bigger role in this track.
But you’ll be made of passion
Out of love
Keep us alive up above
And I won’t make a plan for who you’ll be
You’re named after me
You can be so more
You could never have been
I’ve said enough, oh
You’re there after me
In this song’s lyrics, I believe that Madeon is referencing the creative process behind this album. He’s forged this album with heart and soul over years, and now he’s saying “that’s enough – it’s time to let others listen.”
Oh, I’ll listen. I’ll listen most carefully to the emotional vocals between 2:08 – 2:32, which is my favorite moment in this track.
Here’s a list of the tracks on this album, ordered from my personal favorite to my least favorite:
- Miracle (10/10)
- Hold Me Just Because (10/10)
- Dream Dream Dream (9/10)
- No Fear No More (9/10)
- Nirvana (9/10)
- Mania (8/10)
- Borealis (7/10)
- All My Friends (7/10)
- Heavy With Hoping (6/10)
- Be Fine (3/10)
Overall Score: 9/10
Thank you, Madeon, for sharing this journey of an album with us. There are a few tracks in here that I will return to forever.
A final parting thought: I really appreciate that every song on the LP has its own unique logo. You can see each track’s logo on the left of the album’s cover. Check out that sweet typography!