The highly prolific Matt Pond is back with a new album. The New Hampshire born musician has produced an album of indie pop that is heavy on the pop. Fans of ultra-experimental music or anything heavy will probably not be very interested in this music, as it is highly accessible, and not at all threatening. This album would be rock-solid background to a wine tasting fundraiser for a political race.
MPPA provides for an ambiguous listening experience, regardless of the accessibility of the music. As accessible and somewhat middle of the road as the album is, the music is well written and devoid of any excess. This is old school songwriting in a way, with the band bending its collective will in favor of highlighting the melodic line of the vocals. The band is fairly tight, and present a strong ensemble that speaks of seasoned musicians spending time together making music.
All that aside, there’s nothing dynamic about the album. The writing is solid and without any weak spots, but without any real strong points, either. Each track blends into the next, with enough inherent individualism that they are recognizable as individual songs, but all of them adhere to similar conventions of tempo, mood, and meter. One song may start with a synth wash, another song with a snare-drum and arpeggio vamp, but nothing really happens. The album starts and stops, and in between is a whole bunch of vague melancholy and contrived emotionalism.