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Transfiguration of Vincent

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iTunes Review

“Transfiguration #1”, Transfiguration of Vincent’s hushed instrumental opening track, begins with the quiet buzz of cicadas and a few tentatively plucked notes from M. Ward’s acoustic guitar; after a few moments Ward embarks on some Fahey-ish finger picking and The Old Joe Clarks (his backing band ) slide into a rustic shuffle with delicate southwestern flourishes. Yet for all its beauty, “Transfiguration #1” is something of a red herring; its carefully fabricated traditionalism prepares listeners for an excursion into Americana that never materializes. Instead, M. Ward performs a clever trick, presenting his listeners with an album of romantic, power-pop derived balladry clothed in the worn but comforting garments of American folk and blues. Transfiguration’s crackly, lo-fi aesthetic and Ward’s dust bowl crooning invoke Woody Guthrie and Son House, but his starry eyed melancholia is more akin to indie pop stars like Elliott Smith and Stephin Merritt. On the keening, “Sad, Sad Song” he deftly splices a loping rockabilly groove to a set of wittily irreverent faux-blues verses. With Transfiguration of Vincent, M. Ward fashioned a sly blend of high lonesome blues and postmodern irony that always feels immediate and original, never labored or contrived.

Customer Reviews

Let us sway into the sunset.

This is one of those rare albums that works in every sense. This is what songwriting is supposed to be. A Dylan flair, with the vocals to back it up. "There may be mermaids under the water, there may even be a man on the moon, but Vincent time is running out, I hope you get yourself together soon". That line alone is worth the whole album. Sad, Sad Song is melodic folk genius, and what Ward has done to Bowie's "Let's Dance" renders it unrecognizable, and so tremendously beatiful Bowie himself would cry. It might take a couple listens to appreciate the magic of this album, but the effects will definitely be rewarding.


i guess it's funny that i'm writing a review, when i really don't have the words to describe how wonderful this album is. this music transports me and makes me present in the world at the same time. those are some new age woo woo words, but i can't think of a better way to say it. i will say this is one of my favorite albums of all time. it makes me happy to hear it every time. if you are looking for someone whose his lyrics are not typical (but also not bizarre) and fresh, m. ward's your man.

5 Stars Truly Deserved

I found M. Ward through the Bright Eyes remix of Seashell Tale, and based on everyone's reviews, I bought this album. Amazing. Stunning. I listen to it while driving, while sleeping, and while doing school work. It is one of those albums that becomes more endearing to the heart with each listen. You love it increasingly the more you listen to it. I love this album.


Born: October 4, 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
Transfiguration of Vincent, M. Ward
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Customer Ratings

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