I have a strictly Love-Hate Relationship with Matt Pond, and his band, Matt Pond PA.
I don't normally enjoy capitalizing random adjectives and nouns in the middle of my sentences, but I believe that my relationship with this band deserves fully-fledged capitalization errors.
The Relationship started when I was a freshman in college. I took on the radio interview show on ACRN, and in addition to interviewing some local jammers on the scene, I'd do interviews with touring bands coming through Athens. It just so happened that Matt Pond PA was headlining ACRN's Lobsterfest that year.
I had not really heard of them before, but I started listening in preparation for my interview. My roommate and friends promptly grew fond of MPPA. It's not a hard task to enjoy the lush pop songs that seem to be made to play on repeat for entire eras of your life.
It wasn't until I met Matt Pond and Bandmate (they have all since quit, and I can't remember who it was) that I discovered the first important lesson of music journalism. LESSON ONE: It's really easy for musicians to be pricks. They don't even have to try. For many, it just comes naturally. And I'm sorry, but Matt Pond was not, and will never be, famous enough to enjoy this liberty.
He mocked other bands throughout our interview, took digs at my poor interviewing skills (I was a freshman, OK??), and generally made myself and everyone in my vicinity uncomfortable.
Here the problem lies: I still enjoy his music. So much so, that I have a hard time not listening to it. No matter how much I hate him, or love him, or whatever. I have avoided his latest couple albums because I didn't want to give him the benefit of my time or my ears. However, when I heard a new album was coming out, I had to get it... it was compulsive or something.
So here I lay, in bed, rejoicing in the beauty that is The Dark Leaves. Every note on this album is a perfect mastery of pure, swirling pop. It combines twee, orchestral, and power pop to great effect, leaving me speechless.
Sure, some of the lyrics are a little phony: "I can't remember which movie taught me purpose. I can't remember which movie taught me pain"? I can't remember why you thought it would be ok to be so pretentious, Mr. Pond.
But still, I love this album! And that small morsel of truth haunts me and teases me, contradicting everything I think I believe in. I'm absolutely, hopelessly doomed.
Yet, DO NOT DESPAIR. One day, I will convert the tape I have of my interview with Matt and *not-sure-what-his-name-is-fellow-band-member* into an MP3. And you can sit here with me, laughing and mocking Matt's pretension and sour attitude toward life. I will have my bitter revenge.
After I go ahead and give this album four f-ing stars. Damnit.