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Matt Pond PA reviewed!

| June 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Dark Leaves
(Altitude)

Persistent chamber-pop heartthrob Matt Pond pushes his band in the other direction on this spring-released autumn album.

Appearing: Tuesday, June 8th at Lincoln Hall in Chicago.

Watching Matt Pond PA continually throw itself against the brick wall as indie pop gained momentum in the 2000s was both frustrating and compelling. Two exceptional releases for Polyvinyl — The Green Fury and The Nature Of Maps — failed to gain traction, however, and after them Pond seemed ready to do anything to break his band commercially (move to Brooklyn, tour with Liz Phair, cover songs for WB dramas), all with the same result. Quiet since 2007’s Last Light, it would be reasonable to assume MPPA were recalibrating everything for a lightning return. Not quite. If anything, Dark Leaves gently moves down the road with limited thrust or determination. It’s not a lazy record and the dream hasn’t died, but the songs are less insistent. If you were to cherrypick lines, “Remains” readily offers “I can’t remember which movie taught me purpose” and “This is not how I want to be forgotten.” It’s difficult to discern if a snare drum is popped before the seventh track, “Ruins,” but that’s not really what characterizes the album: it’s that MPPA are back to just making albums again.

7

— Steve Forstneger

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