There is something to be said about a “lazy Sunday.” I am a firm believer in this statement. After the constant push and pull of the week and intense start of the weekend, yay for new cell phones, Sunday is the perfect holiday away from it all. It is a good day to sit and reflect on the past week. Sort through the good, the bad, and what’s to come. Some people use the New Year as a fresh start, but I use Sunday as a way to start fresh and begin again come Monday.
This Sunday was no different. After the rush of Saturday, all I wanted to do was sit by an open window and read a book with a glass of iced tea. Somehow the music of Matt Pryor has been replaying in my mind for the past month or two. I caught myself all day humming and singing his songs in my apartment. It was no surprise to me that I would then pull this album out, open the windows and let the soothing sound of Matt’s voice and acoustic guitar fill my apartment. Maybe even seep into my neighbor’s ears also.
Matt Pryor is the lead singer, guitarist, and writer for the highly acclaimed band The Get Up Kids. In between The Get Up Kids, Matt went to form New Amsterdams and also release his own solo music. I have grown to love his side work more than The Get Up Kids because it is perfect for just relaxing and for lazy Sundays.
Confidence Man is Matt’s first solo album and it is an older album, but still sounds refreshing as the years pass. I didn’t get into Matt’s solo music until about two years ago when I saw him on Where’s The Band Tour and I bought this vinyl right there and then.
Matt Pryor hails from Lawrence, Kansas and it shows in his music. When listening to Matt Pryor, his music takes you through a time when everything was simple and we weren’t fast paced people searching for something more. His music allows you to sit and just take in the moment and not worry about what tomorrow will bring. This is what I imagine Kansas to be like, easy living and just living for the day. Not taking anything for granted.
The album starts off with the song “A Totally New Year”. This song explains what I mentioned above. Things might have gotten worse during the week or month, but you will learn from your mistakes.
“Don’t let the pouring rain temper your day-by-day,
Don’t let the bones the closet may hold get in the way,
After a long dark night,
Bathe in the morning light,
The savior returned,
The lesson you learned:
You’ll get it right.”
The album continues with Matt strumming and picking an acoustic guitar. This is shown in the single “Still, There’s A Light”, which Matt later reworked with a full band. I should mention Matt likes to release different versions of his songs. Each one has a different feel and it is worth owning each one. The song like “When The World Stops” shows off his harmonica playing, which makes the song even more melodic. The self-titled track, “Confidence Man”, is probably the most satisfying song on the album. You can’t help but clap along and sing out loud the chorus.
“You don’t have to worry,
Baby I’m your confidence man.”
Stop reading this and everything you are doing and purchase the next song. Heck, just purchase the whole album at your local record shop. If not, go to iTunes, Amazon, or whatever is out there and purchase “I Wouldn’t Change A Thing”. This song is one of those songs I wish I had written. It is one of the most calming, soothing, and sincere songs written. The chorus shows the listener that Matt can write the most genuine songs and I came to the realization that this song made him my second favorite musician behind Ace Enders.
“Now the worst is over,
But, I wouldn’t change a thing,
I wouldn’t trade it all,
I wouldn’t make adjustments,
Even knowing I might fall,
I wouldn’t change the words,
I told you I’d be true,
I wouldn’t let you go,
I promise that to you,
I wouldn’t change a thing.
I wouldn’t change a thing,
I wouldn’t change a note,
Even though you’ve gone away,
I just can’t let you go.”
The B side of the album mimics Side A and makes you want to finish the album before you go back doing what you were doing before the needle touched the wax. The song “Dear Lover” explains a relationship gone sour and not wanting to be bothered by the other anymore. The next song, “Lovers Who Have Lost Their Cause” ties in well with the previous song as the title explains it all. “Where Did I Go Wrong” is almost like the ending to the two previous songs, as in it is a lot slower and trying to understand the situation between the two lovers.
“Where did I go wrong?
Where did I cave in?
And tell me, where’s this all begin?
And after all’s been said,
And after it’s been done,
You figure I’m the one.”
“On How Our Paths Differ” shows Matt’s skills in banjo playing and trust me when you hear it, you will think differently about incorporating a banjo in music. Matt makes it compliment his music well just like he did with the harmonica throughout the album.
Track 15, “It Ends Here”, closes the album off on a high note. The song is just Matt and his guitar. The melody is simple and Matt’s vocals are clear and resonating. When the song ends you feel peace with yourself. You feel like someone has gone through what you have gone through already, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe it is the Kansas air or the night sky that makes Matt write the most peaceful and heartfelt music, but in the closing song I think he summed it up.
“Time equals money,
And I’ve got nothing but time.”
We are all racing to get the best job, the best photo, travel as many places as possible, but for what? Sometimes all we need to do is just sit and take it all in, because eventually life will pass us by. We will eventually see the world, get that job, and find that beauty in love, but we have to be patient, because all we have is time.
As I mentioned before, I picked this album up at the Where’s The Band Tour at the Philadelphia, PA stop at The Trocadero on December 10, 2010. The tour features musicians in fairly known bands, but it is only the lead singer and an acoustic guitar. It is always a good show. I picked this album up and fell in love with it. As of now the record is out of print. There is no label on the record, but Vagrant Records released the compact disc. There was also no download card, because it was released before those were packaged with records. The record does have a nice seaweed looking color, which is clear. It matches the cover art perfectly in a sense that it looks like the water when the trees reflect off of it. Even though it is out of print on vinyl it is available everywhere else in different formats. Highly worth a listen, especially on a sunny Sunday.