Review Summary: Matt Pryor goes from get up kid to adult with positive results.
"I'm so used to hiding behind bands. Its weird seeing my name on things."
- Matt Pryor
Even though he rarely gets enough credit for it, the influence Matt Pryor has had on the last decade of pop punk is undeniable. Although his decade long run as the guitarist and singer of The Get Up Kids came to an end in 2005, Pryor is not one to rest on his laurels. For the last few years, he has delved into the folksier side of things with his The New Amsterdams project, and Pryor's first album bearing his own name, Confidence Man
, follows in the same path. Recorded at his home studio in Lawrence, Kansas, Confidence Man is the epitome of what a solo album should be with it being written, produced, and performed entirely by Pryor.
Matt Pryor has always had a way with words. His simple and down to earth approach to lyricism is easily relatable and personal but without coming off as a melodramatic or insipid. Pryor's lyrics on Confidence Man
don't have the heart-on-his-sleave earnestness of his Get Up Kids work but when put into perspective, why would they? Now in his early 30's Pryor's relies more on insight and superb storytelling. The bittersweet and haunting I Would't Change A Thing's opening verse of "This is just a photograph/ Been starin' at for years/ Tell me do you see me?/ Do I disappear?/ Maybe I was wiser then/ When I didn't know a thing" perfectly displays how the previously mentioned qualities have only gotten better with age. That's not to say that every song is as serious in tone. Loralai lets Pryor's gift of storytelling and humor take center stage as he weaves his tale of a dysfunctional relationship that escalates to changed locks and a stolen car. It all comes together to create an endearing cross-section of who he is.
is an intimate look at the real Matt Pryor. The album shares not only his music but everything that makes him tick, insecurities and all. And while it may not sonically resemble the past creations that he is most known for, it is still the same man behind the songs. Confidence Man
shows Pryor changing his perspective from one of the questioning and ambition of being a young adult to one of the understanding and reflection that only comes after a few more years of life and it works to his advantage.