Posted June 11, 2006 by Mike Mineo in Features

ALBUM PREVIEW: M. Ward – Post-War

M. Ward is one my favorite solo artists, as he has released three fantastic albums prior to his new album this year in Post-War. His style could be described as a mixture of Elliott Smith’s solo talents, Ryan Adams’ ingenuity, and raspy vocals from a range of older artists such as Bob Dylan or Neil Young. Somewhere in there you’ll end up with M. Ward. His own distinct creative sound though is what keeps me coming back for more. Starting out as one of the members as the trio of Rodriguez, he has been crafting songs in a classic American standard since the 90s, though he broke through with 2001’s great End of Amnesia.

One of my favorite tracks off the new album is actually a cover of Daniel Johnston’s ‘To Go Home’. Yes, the backing vocals are indeed that of Neko Case. Ward managed to grab Johnson’s talented rough edged songwriting skills and craft it into a very catchy and smoother pop song. But don’t worry, the originals on the album are just as good. Take ‘Right In The Head’ for example. From the moment in kicks in with a swingy acoustic guitar, you know the song is in the classification of cool and suave. The chorus and the guitar lick directly afterwards feels like some modern western cowboy flick. ‘Chinese Translation’ comes at the halfway point of the album, and is enjoyable as well with some pretty cool guitar tones towards the end. Post-War is definitely a recommended album to buy when it is released later this year.


M. Ward – To Go Home



M. Ward – Right In The Head



M. Ward – Chinese Translation



Official Web Site

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].