This time around Matt Pryor opted to go it alone. He left his band behind, and wrote and recorded this entire fifteen-song album in his home studio. It’s more subdued than his other works, but it accomplishes more, letting him roam wherever he chooses.
Here we find Matt at his most personal, though not entirely in the lyrics. The usage of an acoustic guitar, though not entirely different from all Pyror projects, lets you sit in the living room of Matt, while he tries out all these new tunes for you, at least that is the aesthetic I took from listening.
Not surprisingly, his voice sounds really strong throughout the album. Sure, it’s distinctly Matt Pryor, but a few years removed from mass touring seems to have cleared the throat a bit, allowing for some of the more pristine vocals I have heard from this guy. For some, the tone might come off a bit grating initially, especially if this is your first meeting with Matt, but hold on, for you will remember it forever in the back of your mind.
Lyrically, he doesn’t stray far from the usual stylings he has come to grace us with in the last decade. His themes range from the typical love to loss to friendship to observation. The interesting thing throughout this record is how personal the songs feel, without always having to discuss personal topics. You come away feeling that Matt wrote these songs just for your ears, and as a listener you couldn’t ask for more from a singer-songwriter.
My complaint on the album, if I were to create one, is that there aren’t really standout tracks–meaning there is not clear single, or set of singles. However, this doesn’t mean that the songs are weak, it just means that he has come up with his most complete album to date. A listener can go from the first song to the end without getting lost or bored. I suppose this is a good thing–depends on how you look at it.
Whether he is stripped down to the bare bones of an acoustic guitar, or whether he is backed by a full band, Matt Pryor continues to write amazing songs, accompanied by lyrics you can identify with throughout Confidence Man. This is just another warning to the music masses that Pryor is indeed a songwriter who still has what it takes to write great songs.
And, he is coming to Austin on August 23rd with his other group The Terrible Twos. Pick up your tickets.