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Hold Time

M. Ward

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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

m. ward's time....

hot off his duet album w/ zooey, She & Him..... this could be his crossover record. "never had nobody..." and "rave on" are very catchy. In the face of hard times, it's a good time for music... also listening to NEW music from: dan auerbach, eddie skuller, buddy & julie miller.

Seemless

This cd as a whole works monumentally well. All of the songs flow together nicely. The first listen I took, the cd was over without my knowledge. It's hard to know when one song ends and another begins. It's just one giant masterpiece. By the way, I like how he's so awesome that he even produced this record.

Melodically innovative and lyrically compelling

While the tunes have a retro sound in many respects, the atmospherics that he adds to the tracks take them in an innovative new direction. From the hopping Never Had Nobody Like You to the evocative Fisher of Men, the lyrics are both introspective and original. This is the first I've heard from Ward, but I know it won't be that last. I am reminded of John Stirrat's band The Autumn Defense, but this kinship only serves to illustrate how much better both bands are than the average radio fare these days.

Biography

Born: 1974 in Ventura County, 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

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