\ Hip Displeasure: Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #2 » M. Ward - "Post-War"

Hip Displeasure Logo Hip Displeasure Title

An independent music and pop culture commentary collective.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #2 » M. Ward - "Post-War"

M. Ward makes records that sound like he just wandered in off the street with a few friends and hit the record button, but what would feel lazy and unfocused in less confident hands comes off like a tutorial in old-school songwriting. With that said, Post-War is a record full of textures, with M. Ward's grainy and brushed voice cooing, rasping with a clipped echo lending it a nostalgic lightness of touch. Covering themes of madness, doubt, loss and remembering it could be a glum navel-gazing fest, in Ward's hands there's always a sense of optimism in the country-blues flow of chords and the pull and push of organic instrumentation.

I think the album passes almost more quickly than I'd like, but lends itself so well to a repeat or two. Post-War feels familiar and terribly personal, but refreshing and entirely, wonderfully new. On a negative note, there's a bit of Starbucks gloss to this record, a too-easy-to-like quality that may at first put off serious listeners and music heads. That evaporates pretty quickly, though, as you recognize that its lucid simplicity, its artful artlessness is not a trick, but an achievement. M. Ward's Post-War is, easily, my favorite record of the year.

-- Chris

Chris's Favorite Track: "Poison Cup"

This album appeared on the following staffers's lists:

  • Chris (#1)
  • Darrin Frew (#1)
  • stacey (#4)
  • Yail Bloor (#9)
  • Patrick (#18)


Post a Comment

<< Home