michael gallucci

REVIEW — M. WARD: HOLD TIME

In Uncategorized on 01/20/2009 at 5:09 am



M. Ward

Hold Time

(Merge)


The last time we heard from M. Ward, the guitar-strumming troubadour was on the road as one-half of She & Him with Elf cutie Zooey Deschanel. On his seventh album as a singer-songwriter with a soft spot for moody tunes, Ward once again summons tons of atmosphere out of modest situations. Hold Time opens with “For Beginners,” which plays like a primer on Ward’s post-folk, with acoustic guitar picking, a lilting melody and Ward’s warm voice – the usual stuff. But there are detours: The glammy “Never Had Nobody Like You” stomps like a tranquilized T. Rex, “To Save Me’ is the fluffiest rockabilly you’ve ever heard and “Rave On” down-tunes Buddy Holly’s rocker to a breezy shuffle. Deschanel left behind some of She & Him’s wistful ’60s pop (she and Lucinda Williams also add backing vocals), making Hold Time Ward’s most buoyant record – a multilayered meditation on all things dreamy. — Michael Gallucci

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