Album Review: Matt Pryor - 'May Day'

27 January 2012 | 10:59 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Matt is a little depressed.

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Matt Pryor has plenty of avenues to release the various forms of music and messages that spawn from his mind. Be it The Get Up Kids, The New Amsterdams or his solo work, all of these projects are now fully operational again, keeping the songwriter very busy.

May Day is the follow up to his first solo effort, 2008’s ‘Confidence Man,’ which continues along the relaxed, and very personal, acoustic folk vein of the debut. Things begin with Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down, Pryor’s watered down version of the similar Propagandhi line. The track is soft, stripped back and sets the raw tone of the record.

The album’s title is a result of the month in which Pryor recorded the album, which was funded by his fans in a kickstarter like program. (On a side note, if fans fund an entire album, should they then have to pay for it?) This monumental shift in the way that art is created and funded relates back to the theme of this record, on which many frustrations are vented through the lyrics. Tracks like Where Do We Go From Here talk about the “good old days” and how the singer shares his fears about losing the success ever present in his career and not knowing how to do anything else.

The past is brought up from a relationship perspective throughout other songs on the record including, As If I Could Fall In Love With You Again and Polish The Broken Glass, speaking of the disconnect when people from the past come back into your life, trying to reclaim the feelings and attitudes that were once, but no longer are, relevant. Whilst the majority of the tracks have a fairly sombre tone, there are brighter moments, such as Your New Favourite, a perky number laced with harmonica and a bright piano, ignoring the fact the lyrics are still mainly negative.

Pryor has previously mentioned that he wrote the record during a time when he was fed up with the music industry and making music in general, to say that is obvious throughout the songs is quite an understatement. Lyrics aside the music doesn’t stray far from acoustic guitar and piano led folk numbers which capture and covey the home recording/DIY style that Pryor has based his solo works around. The songwriter is a natural when it comes to this particular style however it does become a little repetitive near the end of the record.

Ignoring the irony of a singer complaining about his negative feelings towards the music industry and his career on an album that was funded by his fan base, ‘May Day’ is another example of Matt Pryor’s solid song writing abilities and something that fans of any other Pryor project should enjoy.

1. Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down
2. The Lies Are Keeping Me Here
3. Where Do We Go From Here
4. Like A Professional
5. As If I Could Fall In Love Again
6. Polish The Broken Glass
7. Unhappy Is The Only Happy That You'll Ever Be
8. As Lies Go... This One Is Beautiful
9. Your New Favorite
10. You Won't Get Any Blood From Me
11. I Was A Witness
12. What My Tired Eyes Would View