When Matt Pond dropped the PA in his name, it was largely symbolic. After nearly a decade as Matt Pond PA, the group has been a revolving-door of members, with the exception of main collaborator Chris Hansen. Ponds new solo record makes clear the extent to which hes been the driving force behind the sound attached to the moniker.
The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands runs in succession to Ponds previous work, with the exception of a few peppier tracks. Most songs comfortably fit into a category I maybe unfairly have in my head called As heard on The O.C. Thats not meant to be a slam, but more a description of a type of calm indie pop that can pleasantly melt into the background.
As far as the tracks with more than the usual Pond momentum, hes referenced breaking his leg while on tour as creating a need for more movement in his music. Opening track Let Me Live establishes Ponds shift in tone with snappy drums and plenty of woh-ohs. The songs bounce carries through the very early portion of the album, like on first single Love to Get Used, with its fast guitar line and buoyant vocals on crashing drums.
Theres a also a point where Pond winds down. The shady, darker Human Being introduces the banjo and it’s a welcome addition on a record that’s otherwise uniform. Still, Pond closes out in the sunlight and the drumless Strafford favors some nice finger picking on guitar, dissolving the PA from anyone’s thoughts.
Essential Tracks: “Let Me Live”, “Human Being”