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Confidence Man

Matt Pryor

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Album Review

Matt Pryor plays down his status as an indie rock veteran on Confidence Man, which reintroduces the former Get Up Kids frontman as a mellow songwriter in the Americana vein. Toting an acoustic guitar, banjo, and harmonica, Pryor makes a fine transformation into a rustic troubadour, particularly when his pop sensibilities come into play. "Loralai" channels the Everly Brothers with bouncing guitar arpeggios and sweet harmonies, while the title track takes a page from the Dan Bern songbook, mixing handclaps and straightforward chord changes with an irresistible string of la la las. Had the New Amsterdams continued to explore the rootsy side of Pryor's personality, a beefed-up Confidence Man might have been the result, with an entire band tackling the songs that Pryor presents here in intimate, simple performances. Intimacy is one of Confidence Man's biggest assets, though, with Pryor helming the entire project (from the songs' composition to the album's production) on his own. There's a warm, personal air to the album, and Confidence Man ultimately emerges as a solid solo debut from someone who, until recently, always worked in tandem with others. If future efforts avoid the plodding, laid-back songcraft that dominates the album's latter half and focus on such pop-kissed folk as "Loralai" and "Confidence Man," Pryor's new priority should serve him well.

Biography

Born: Lawrence, Kansas

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Prolific Lawrence, Kansas-based singer, songwriter, and guitarist Matt Pryor began his music career in 1994 with the ska-punk outfit Secret Decoder Ring, but it would only be a year later that he would form the band that would come to define him, the Get Up Kids. One of the premier second wave emo rock outfits out the mid-'90s/early 2000s, the group released five acclaimed studio albums before going on hiatus in 2012. During his time with the Get Up Kids, Pryor began issuing solo material under the...
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Confidence Man, Matt Pryor
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