The New Amsterdams


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Whether it's with emo legends the Get Up Kids or his more folk-oriented solo project the New Amsterdams, Matt Pryor is a songwriter who seems beautifully adept at finding just the right balance between sugary sweet pop and earnest emotion. Able to keep things light without becoming saccharine and heartfelt without being too heavy-handed, Pryor is at the vanguard of heart-on-sleeve musicians. His seventh and final album as the New Amsterdams, Outroduction finds Pryor digging deep into his toolkit to craft an album that, while filled with sweet melodies, has a certain feeling of finality to it. While imbuing that kind of feeling into an album might seem like a downer, the whole thing comes off without feeling overly maudlin or sentimental. That's not to say the album is devoid of emotion, which would be a near impossibility given Pryor's body of work, but it's just restrained enough that when Pryor sings "Baby, it's high time to go home" on "Old Enough to Know Bitter," it's more of a sensible suggestion than tear-filled goodbye. In a lot of ways, Outroduction is like a transition between seasons. Sure, it can be a bummer when the free and easy days of summer give way to the fall, but the inevitability that takes those days away is the same force that will bring them back again, and just as the world will keep spinning, Matt Pryor will continue to write lovely pop songs for people to fall in love with again and again.

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