M. Ward – Hold Time

6) M. Ward – Hold Time

The albums in my list for this year fall into one of two categories. Either I know the people involved – not friends, but people I’ve at least had a pint or awkward sexual encounter with – or know nothing about them whatsoever. M. Ward may not even have a first name. He could spend his days auctioning dogs, or be M out of James Bond* for all I know.

Gone are the days when the mainstream music press had an important role in shaping one’s opinion on an artist via interviews or breathless album reviews; instead I find out about music from friends, gigs, and still, sometimes, the radio. M Ward was just a name on a folder on a memory stick. I liked what I heard, then downloaded his new album from emusic. Until I find it to use as visual dressing for this review, I won’t even know what the album artwork looks like.

So, M Ward, the American (or possibly Canadian) singer of folky music lives on my music player making me happy. The songs glide, lollop and chug along; full of warmth, they’re beautifully arranged, and make long train journeys a pleasure. The lyrics? They’ve not really made much of an impression on me – the melodies, voice and arrangements are enough. If I ever properly listen to the lyrics, maybe he’ll make his way up the list. Maybe if I knew who he was or what his opinions were, I’d like him even more.

Or maybe he’s a twat. It doesn’t matter. This album’s a blissed-out joy, and that’s enough.

*This is silly. M’s not a weary-voiced alt-American singer – he’s Dame Judy Dench.

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~ by jamboshoeshine on December 24, 2009.

8 Responses to “M. Ward – Hold Time”

  1. I was very suspicious of M Ward for a long time – probably because he doesn’t have a first name, and because he has a band with Zooey Deschanel who is an actor not a singer. But he’s lovely, isn’t he? Swoopy and happy and tuneful.

    Also: is emusic good, then? Should I sign up?

  2. I’m biased against M. Ward because of his religious beliefs and this makes me a bad person. Also I hate that cover of “Rave On”

    • You both seem to know a lot more about M Ward than I do. I didn’t know he was religious – though so’s that loser out of Belle & Sebastian. I love the Rave On cover.

      I don’t know who Zooey Deshananel is, but it’s a good name.

      Emusic is kind of good because it forces you to download stuff else die, but it’s kind of bad because there are no major labels and they’re quite slow getting albums. It’s fine if you don’t mind being about 6 months to a year behind everyone else, as I don’t.

      • Six months behind the curve feels cutting edge to me these days.

        Zooey Deschanel is married to him out of Death Cab For Cutie. Indiest. Couple. Ever.

      • The difference is, I liked Belle & Sebastian BEFORE I found out that Stuart Murdoch believes in faith healing. I disliked M Ward before I found out he happens to write a lot of songs about God and my bias was then reinforced.

  3. S: I don’t really know who Death Cab For Cutie are either. Aren’t they an emo band from about four years ago?

    m: I’ve only just noticed that you’re an m too, presumably referring to my review. You’re too clever for me.

    Anyway, you’ve convinced me I’m right to continue my current course of not bothering to listen to the lyrics.

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