A strange duality exists in Matt Pond’s tenth album, The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand, as it is also his first album. Coincidentally the name that has followed his band for the past decade, Matt Pond PA, has been slightly altered to reflect his transition to a “solo artist.” Now being referred to without the “PA,” his music remains uniquely truthful and dedicated to the sound that has garnered him onto a vast array of motion picture sound tracks and commercials.
When Matt Pond set out on his musical endeavor, I don’t believe he dreamed of being the sound of a long-running advertising campaign for Starbucks, but that’s what he got. Along with it came an ever growing die-hard fan base that enjoyed the raw channel of emotions Pond put into his lyrics and melodies. The newest album delivers some of his strongest work to date, which fans will undoubtedly enjoy, but it is flawed in many ways.
One of the initial songs I heard called “Love to Get Used” sparked my interest with its use of electronic beat and coarse guitar. This song, like most off this album, has a high production value due to its polished, smooth sound making it easy to listen too. Anyone interested in the unique fusion of up-tempo pop and mellow rock would particularly enjoy this song. The chord progression in “Bring Back the Orchestra” coupled with the meaningful lyrics and spot on vocals of Pond lend the album some diversity.
The album starts to drift into a feeling of predictability after further listening. The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand is definitely a strong album for Matt Pond, but it fails to separate itself between tracks. The previously noted tracks vary a great deal in comparison, but songs like “Go Where the Leaves Go” and “Human Beings” blend into one another after a while. These are the types of songs that one listens to and they say they like it, but it will never make it onto their playlists because it’s not fun to actively listen to.
Regardless, those who have loved Matt Pond’s songs in the past will surely love this recent follow up. His songwriting credentials provide the listeners of The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand with fail proof messages that he continues to bring ten albums later. Although if this was truly a “solo album,” it would be a great start, but considering Pond has a decade behind him in the music business, this album leaves much to be desired. He fails to create a variety in most of his songs, which will still keep some engaged, but as for me I’m left slightly uninterested and lethargic.