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'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)