Here are a few things you need to know about Matt Pond and his latest release, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands. For starters, he is now just Matt Pond and not Matt Pond PA. Second, his new album is essentially a pop record by way of the singer-songwriter tactic of wearing his heart on his sleeve about relationships. Finally, it is a pleasant release, but there isn’t a ton of variety here.
The driving pop rock rhythm and synths on “Hole in My Heart” perfectly capture the content, feel and scope of the majority of the record. The pure pop of “Love to Get Used” is a familiar story about people who don’t have enough respect for themselves to strive to find better people to bring into their worlds. “Go Where the Leaves Go” offers a nice Don Henley, “The Boys of Summer,” ride-in-your-car-into-the-sunset-with-your-window-down vibe, while the title track is as epic in scope and sound as the album gets with its talk of crisscrossing America and the idea that “Just because we’re in these bodies/Doesn’t mean there isn’t more.”
Pond has released a steady album, but nothing more. It mostly does a lot of the same thing over and over again, and his impassioned vocals keep your attention for the most part, but there’s not a lot of overly memorable material on here.