M. Ward Ain’t Never Had No Record Like This

Posted: March 2, 2009 by Mike Estabrook in BLARE -- music, POP - pop culture
Tags: , , , ,

M. Ward hates boundaries. His new album, Hold Time, mixes, among others, classic rock, indie pop, porch folk, country, and, most importantly, general awesomeness.

After Ward’s last solo effort, the old-time feelin’ Post-War, and working with Zooey Deschanel on She & Him, he has made his perfect album.


He still keeps his phonograph-ready sound on several tracks, but it’s Ward’s blending of past and modern styles that makes Hold Time special.

The subtle “For Beginners” opens the album before Deschanel helps Ward shift into the quirky love anthem, “Never Had Nobody Like You.” This is only the start of the seemless genre transitions throughout the album.

“Jailbird” and “Blake’s View” are reminiscent of Post-War’s beautiful folk laments. The title track slows things down even more with an almost orchestral quality.

Ward and Deschanel go Buddy Holly on “Rave On” to pick the pace up before the piano-driven romp “To Save Me” really picks things up with hints of Phil Spector production.

“One Hundred Million Years” takes Ward back to his Transistor Radio days with some simple guitar-plucking. This charming country side of Ward is also heard in “Fisher of Men,” Shangri-La,” and the Lucinda Williams-assisted “Oh Lonesome Me.”

Ward’s knack for charging rock is not forgotten with “Stars of Leo” and “Epistemology.”

What’s so great about M. Ward, especially on Hold Time, is the distinct, timeless musical experience he creates. When I listened to this album, I wanted to lie on the grass in an open field, tap my feet on a deserted cabin step, pump my fist at a festival, sit by a river, or sip some fine wine next to a dusty record player.

Does music get any better than that?

~ Mike Estabrook

  1. Chantal says:

    First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    Are you tension? panic?

  2. Katie says:

    Hawt. Got nothin but love for good ol’ Matt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s