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Hold Time

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iTunes Review

Portland’s M. Ward has charmed and entranced a steadily growing audience since his 1999 debut, and he spent a portion of 2008 basking in the quasi-spotlight with the success of She & Him, his musical pairing with Zooey Deschanel. "For Beginners” opens the set with subdued, Buddy Holly-influenced guitar strumming, a gentle undercurrent to Ward’s warm and gently rugged voice. This is a superb collection of songs, with gems like the languid cover of Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me,” where Ward duets with Lucinda Williams, and a woozy, late-night take on Holly’s “Rave On” with Deschanel helping out on vocals. Jason Lytle of Grandaddy shows up on “To Save Me,” a lush nod to ‘60s pop, and the spirit of Nick Lowe is palpable on tracks like the introspective, hazy title track and the playful “Stars of Leo.” With clever lyrics, a stand-up bass, guitars lovingly strummed and picked, and an ever-present cloak of reverb around Ward’s voice, Hold Time feels soothing, familiar, and altogether necessary. And just like the venerable Nick Lowe, it seems clear that M. Ward has a vast reserve of first-rate music that will keep him going a good long time.

Customer Reviews

Reviews should be about the music not the file format

M. Ward is in fine form here. I've been waiting for a new album from him for a long time now and had some high expectations. This album does not disappoint.

128k DRM Warning!

I love M.Ward but Merge records is living in the past. What's with the 128k, DRM'd tracks? The same release is available elsewhere in high quality non-DRM format.

not iTunes plus?

Why would I buy this if it isn't iTunes plus. Merge records is selling higher quality mp3's for $0.99.


Born: October 04, 1973 in Newbury Park, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Portland, Oregon-based singer/songwriter M. Ward (born Matthew Stephen Ward) grew up listening to gospel and country, two genres that figure prominently in his breezy, West Coast take on Americana. After a six-year stint with the folk-rock trio Rodriguez, Ward began sketching out songs deeply rooted in the classic traditions of American country-folk. Ward's first solo effort came in the form of Duet for Guitars #2, which was written and recorded while he was living between Chicago and various locales...
Full bio
Hold Time, M. Ward
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