Monday, April 9, 2012
M. Ward: A Wasteland Companion (Release Date: 4-10-2012)
A Wasteland Companion has arranged an interesting game plan to combat this issue: Throw all those style together, and see what happens. At first, as the gentle, twinkling notes of Clean Slate suggest we're in for a throwback, Ward's voice no more than mist. Then comes Primitive Girl, immediately erasing this notion with fun, bouncing piano chords, and a readily hummable chorus. We're no further in than track four when Deschanel herself shows up, ushering in the She & Him style on the appropriately named Sweetheart. This devil-may-care approach costs the album a sense of purpose, but it also makes for a pretty interesting ride. While the disc's second half settles largely into the relaxing trappings of his earlier work, the album's grab-bag vibe ensures that it's a good deal more memorable than his last solo effort, Hold Time. Again, the guy's not reinventing the wheel here, just crafting comfy, homey tunes.