It has finally arrived. Madeon’s eagerly anticipated second album, Good Faith, is available for the whole world to listen to and enjoy. A ten-song, thirty-five-minute celebration. And though it took a long time to arrive, it lives up to the hype that the anticipation built. This album feels like a gift. A reward of making it this far. It’s special in ways that aren’t easy to describe.
The album opens up with the three songs we got as singles. ‘Dream, Dream, Dream’ leading into ‘All My Friends’ and finally ‘Be Fine’. This album is all about growing up. The first half focuses on following dreams and experiencing joy, both positively and negatively.
‘Nirvana’ is one of the top songs on the album for me. It feels the most like classic Madeon. But that isn’t why I love it. The lyrics repeat over and over You may find it hard to breathe. And it definitely has a suffocating and claustrophobic feel to it. The distortion effects on the vocals make it feel like we’re truly struggling to breathe. And the way that it builds and transitions to the next song is seamless.
Ever since I heard it at the Brownies and Lemonade New Year’s Eve show, I have been waiting for ‘Mania’ to be released. So it should come as little surprise that this song is my number one for the album. There’s just something so mystical and epic about it. And the drums that come in at the end and just keep going are magnificent. More songs need to utilize drums like he does. And as I said before, the combination of ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Mania’ i so seamless, the two could almost be one song.
‘Miracle’ marks the second half of the album where the theme changes to focusing more about love. This is one of those songs that I thought I knew what it was going to feel like due to teasers and the live show, but the full experience is completely different. It begins as a tender, melancholy goodbye. A song full of regret. And then it explodes into a joyous choir as it picks up energy. It showcases a true transition of mood through experience. Sadness is okay and understandable, but it will eventually fade. At the end of the song, we get the iconic Can you show me a miracle? It’s gratifying to hear what leads up to this part.
The next song is ‘No Fear No More’. This one stands out because of the children’s chorus. The chants of “No Fear. No More.” They’re very powerful. Through the lyrics, it feels like this song is proving someone wrong. You say this future is a world away / I think you worry way too much. But I think it’s more that he’s reassuring himself. He used to tell himself that the future is a world away and his past self worries too much. This album is truly about growing up, Hugo has mentioned that multiple times himself. So what better way to feel that growing up than by recognizing that there’s no more fear. This is a powerful song. A personal anthem.
A total and complete love song takes the next spot. ‘Hold Me Just Because’ is about unrequited love through and through. And it is absolutely beautiful. Hugo’s singing is at its best in this song. Tender and heartbreaking, another goodbye. Just like ‘Miracle’, we’re saying goodbye, and this time we hope it’s for good. Hold me one last time so I can let you go. It ends with a clip of a woman speaking French. And while I don’t personally speak French, I’m told it translates to: You encouraged me to…
…well, to create something, and –
‘Heavy With Hoping’ was the absolute standout during the live show, and it’s still a standout on the album. One of the saddest songs that Madeon has ever released. It tells another tale of unrequited love. One from childhood, that hasn’t gone away. It’s absolutely heartwrenching. Maybe now we could be ready / Maybe this is just a test of faith / Save me. It’s the opposite of ‘Hold Me Just Because’. In that song, he’s finally ready to let go, but in ‘Heavy With Hoping’ he’s either unable or unwilling. This is what heartbreak sounds like.
We’ve made it to the last song ‘Borealis’. The piano in the intro is so light and lovely. It begins to mend the heartbreak from the past few songs. It even starts with A light from dark. Which is how this feels. Many people have said this song is the spiritual successor to ‘Shelter’ and it does have a few of those notes to it. But it feels more like Hugo talking to himself about what “Madeon” means to him. What has the project been, and what will it become, now that Good Faith is out? He doesn’t know But you’ll be made of passion, out of love.
This album exceeded all expectations. Hugo really outdid himself. And like I’ve been saying all along, it really is the most genuine music that he’s ever made. There were only a few problems I had with the album. They all really stemmed from the order of the tracklisting. I know he had his reasons for why he put the songs where he put them, that’s something that artists spend a lot of time on. It’s very important.
I personally feel that the three singles shouldn’t have been clumped together in the beginning. They sound so different to the rest of the album, that spacing them out would allow them to be appreciated more. There were also a few songs that just felt a bit out of place due to the themes. This album was pretty much split into two themes: Growing up and love. ‘No Fear No More’ feels like it should have been up higher. But that’s just getting nitpicky.
The album was amazing and it’s one that I’m going to be listening to for years on end. Madeon really outdid himself, and he should be proud of what he’s created.
Listen to Good Faith below.