CD Hold Time [M. Ward] [673855032320] (CD 4367587),
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Hold Time [M. Ward] [673855032320]

  • 1. For Beginners
    2. Never Had Nobody Like You
    3. Jailbird
    4. Hold Time
    5. Rave On
    6. To Save Me
    7. One Hundred Million Years
    8. Stars of Leo
    9. Fisher of Men
    10. Oh Lonesome Me
    11. Epistemology
    12. Blacke's View
    13. Shangri-La
    14. Outro (I'm a Fool to Want You)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 50323

  • Credits
    ProducerM. Ward; M. Ward
    EngineerEric Liljestrand; Jason Lytle; Adam Selzer; M. Ward; Mike Coykendall; Mike Mogis

    Personnel: M. Ward (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Jason Lytle (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Lucinda Williams, Zooey Deschanel (vocals); Mike Mogis (mandolin, keyboards, percussion, bells); Tom Hagerman (violin, strings); Heather Broderick (violin); Allison Stewart (viola); David Campbell (cello); Peter Broderick (strings); Bill Ritchie (upright bass); Than Luu, Adam Selzer , Mike Coykendall, Rachel Blumberg (percussion).
    Audio Mixer: Mike Mogis.
    Recording information: Blue Rooms, Portland, OR; The Village, Los Angeles, CA; The Warbler, Bozeman, MT; Type Foundry, Portland, OR.
    Unknown Contributor Role: Jordan Hudson.
    Arranger: M. Ward.
    Few artists in the 2000s make records that sound simultaneously as postmodern and as timeless as M. Ward's. Like TRANSISTOR RADIO and POST-WAR, 2009's HOLD TIME recycles blues, folk, and country with a forward-thinking sensibility, then filters it all through a gorgeous, vintage, dreamy shimmer. True, HOLD TIME sounds much like its predecessors--there are no stylistic leaps forward here--yet the allure of Ward's retro-themed sonic landscape is as strong as ever.
    The album's twangy surf guitars, subtle strings, reverb-kissed vocals, and mild, psychedelic washes of distortion are winning on the album's covers (which include Buddy Holly's "Rave On" and Don Gibson's "Oh Lonesome Me") and on Ward's originals. Guest appearances from Zooey Deschanel, Lucinda Williams, and Grandaddy's Jason Lytle add color and texture to the tunes, but never at the expense of Ward's native sound, which swirls around the listener like campfire smoke. Still, the album may shine brightest at its most intimate, poetic moments, such as the stripped-down, acoustic "One Hundred Million Years."

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (p.66) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "His immaculately arranged Americana is still as comfortable as an old cardigan, but now there's a hint of sunshine in the melodies..."
    Entertainment Weekly (p.68) - "HOLD TIME does, in fact, feel timeless, a musical wanderer's dusty, train-hopping tour through folk, blues and country." -- Grade: A-
    Alternative Press (p.107) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[H]is sixth studio album comes teeming with lush compositions and fluttering melodies."
    CMJ - "[W]ith plenty of echoey, hushed ballads like 'Jailbird' that could only be called classic Ward."
    Billboard (p.33) - "From the shimmering, upbeat opener 'For Beginners' to the ominous instrumental 'Outro,' HOLD TIME highlights the full range of the singer/songwriters' styles."
    Q (Magazine) (p.105) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[H]is most playful and eclectic yet, ranging from the Beach Boys-meets-ELO baroque pop of 'To Save Me' to the tear-stained and gin-soaked 'Oh Lonesome Me'..."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.111) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Bringing out the too-often buried pop nuances of his stylish songs and new invention from his under-rated guitar work, it's a stylistic cloth that Ward seems very comfortable wearing."
    Blender (Magazine) (p.64) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "He murmurs heartsick ballads while his acoustic guitar reflects the country-blues fatalism of John Fahey..."
    Paste (magazine) (p.53) - "'Jailbird' is quintessential Ward with string embellishment, 'To Save Me' rollicks fiercely, and the cover of Buddy Holly's 'Rave On' is splendid."
    Pitchfork (Website) - "With mixing and assistance from Saddle Creek mainstay Mike Mogis, plus strings by Peter Broderick, Ward keeps his voice sounding lo-fi even when the production is Phil Spector-sized."
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.105) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Ward has refined his sound, embracing a lusher approach....HOLD TIME features a few tracks that almost verge upon glam, Beach Boys homages and moments of driving country-rock."
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