M. Ward’s latest release, Hold Time, continues his trend of revisiting and perhaps reinventing the good-old-time sound of none other than the good-old-times. An ever-present countrified guitar, mixed with his usual lo-fi and low-key raspy voice, and a really well-conceived set of songs makes makes this his most thorough release evah.
A little more rock ‘n roll than his typical folkish sound, Ward keeps a good balance of electric vs. acoustic guitarmanship, with a subtle string section thrown in for good measure. Add an impossibly haunting duet with Lucinda Williams and a beautiful complement of background vocals from Zooey Deschanel, and you’re left with an album that, like the throwback nostalgia Ward encapsulates, will stand on it own for repeated listening.
Among the many, standout tracks include One Hundred Million Years, Blake’s View, Jailbird, Stars of Leo, and Oh Lonesome Me.