"Gentleman," PSY's follow-up to "Gangnam Style," has already made history.
When your main project is one of the most influential alternative rock bands around with a career spanning fifteen years it’s safe to say that you have a pretty decent outlet for your music. Especially in Matt Pryor’s case where The Get Up Kids are back as a fully functional touring and recording unit. Add the fact that his side project The New Amsterdams is nothing to sneeze at and Pryor has plenty to keep himself creatively busy.
May Day is the solo follow up to 2008’s Confidence Man, which continues along the relaxed, and very personal, acoustic folk vein of the debut. Pryor once again recorded at his home studio, this time in between Get Up Kids commitments, using a fan funded Kickstarter campaign to pay for the whole thing. The raw and rushed style of the recording is something that Pryor claims makes the record special and more real. Whilst he is correct in some ways, with tracks like the opener Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down, sounding very real and raw in a good way, songs such as Like A Professional, which contain more instrumentation than just a guitar, suffer at the hands of the raw recording quality.
Tracks like Where Do We Go From Here, an album stand out thanks to its strong melodies, talk about the “good old days” and how the singer shares his fears about losing the success ever present in his career and not knowing how to do anything else. The past is brought up from a relationship perspective throughout other songs on the record including, As If I Could Fall In Love With You Again and Polish The Broken Glass, speaking of the disconnect when people from the past come back into your life, trying to reclaim the feelings and attitudes that were once, but no longer are, relevant.
Whilst the majority of the tracks have a fairly sombre tone, there are brighter moments, such as Your New Favourite, a perky number laced with harmonica and a bright piano, ignoring the fact the lyrics are still mainly negative. The same can be said about Unhappy Is The Only Happy That You’ll Ever Be where sad lyrics are offset with happy music. If you ignore the irony of a singer complaining about his negative feelings towards the music industry and his career on an album that was funded by his fan base, May Day is another enjoyable release from a truly talented song writer.