Matt Pond, no PA.

matt-pond-lives

So indie pop treat Matt Pond is back with a delightful new collection of tunes.  But this time he has dropped his backing band, the entire state of Pennsylvania (or maybe it was just the inhabitants of the city of Matt Pond, PA – I was never really sure.  Either way, I imagine the recording sessions got to be just too cumbersome).

It doesn’t matter.  If you’ve loved matt pond PA, you will love Matt Pond.  In fact, if you only liked matt pond PA, you just might LOVE Matt Pond.  I confess to not being deeply knowledgeable on the more than a decade of music mppa has put out.  I have heard enough, however, to believe this is the finest and deepest collection Mr. Pond has created.  Purists of the band may claim that the slightly glossier sheen of this album is less favorable.  I respectfully suggest you get over it.  This record sounds great.

The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand (yeah, that’s a mouthful) contains two tracks that first appeared on the last mppa ep from 2011.  “Love to Get Used” bounces as happily as it did on  Spring Fools (save for the addition of the previously mentioned “sheen”).  “Human Beings” is played at a slightly slower pace, which serves it well.  Both of these tracks are standouts.  A personal favorite is “When the Moon Brings the Silver”, though I have no idea what this song is supposed to be about.

As I sit here under the hood (headphones on), listening to the album, my boys are next to me watching The Hobbit.  It’s appropriate for a mythological fantasy such as Tolkien’s classic to  be playing, because that’s kind of how The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand feels to me.  Not so much musically, but lyrically.  I’m not looking at a lyric sheet, but just listening gives me a sense of poetic storytelling of a journey through life, all set to a delightful pop soundtrack.  It may be much simpler to figure out than I’m making it, and you’re welcome to clue me in.  But I like the majestic and mysterious feeling I get from the lyrics.

One more thing – and I’m sorry for doing this – but I need to point out something about the lead track, “Let Me Live”.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a delightful song!  One of the album’s finest, in fact.  But my first time hearing it, I just couldn’t shake the familiarity I felt.  Then, later that day, I found myself humming The Grateful Dead’s “Shades of Grey”. Bam!  We have a match!  I’m not crying “rip-off” – the songs are different enough to be a simple case of using similar chords – but they’re similar enough that I think of it each time I hear”Let Me Live” . I guess I just didn’t want to be alone in that.  Sorry.

Matt Pond (sans the PA) has made a really good album.  There’s nothing groundbreaking here.  But it is, well, really good.  I think even really, really good.  I don’t know if I’m willing to hang a “great” on this as a whole, though some of the parts sound that way.  As a pop music songwriter, MP can cast a hook as well as the finest angler.  There is plenty on The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand that will catch your ear.  It’s a positive step forward in what was starting to sound like a laterally moving catalog.  It’s an easy listen during almost any mood.  I’ve come back to it many times.  I think you will too.

Let Me Live, or Shades Of Grey!

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~ by themattmorrisshow on June 27, 2013.

One Response to “Matt Pond, no PA.”

  1. […] 10.  Matt Pond – The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand   This is so good and easy to listen to.  Pond has always delivered tasty alterna-pop, but his first album without “PA” attached to his name is his best yet.  I wrote more about the album here. […]

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