M. Ward – Transistor Radio
I went into hearing this artist cold, with this record. I knew the name, of course, and I knew of his collaboration with Zooey Deschanel in She & Him (and Wiki tells me he’s in Monsters Of Folk too), but I don’t believe I’d heard a note of his stuff before this.
This has a cool indie sound, like what they play in hip record shops as I browse but I never know what it is, to hear it. Does that even make any sense? I hope it’s not a disservice to his fine playing, saying that. And I could always just ask the shopkeeper what they’re playing…
It sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a Michael Cera movie, or music for a coffee shop gig. I could be digging the hole deeper, here. But none of that was meant as a knock – I really enjoyed these smart, infectious pop songs that have country, rock and a little Tom Waits thrown in. The record has a great overall feel, and I came away feeling like I’d been shown a great talent at work.
Jim James (of My Morning Jacket… and Monsters Of Folk, coincidentally), Howie Gelb, Vic Chesnutt and Jenny Lewis all guest star on songs, here and there, as if this thing needed more cred.
I truly did enjoy this record, and would recommend it to you. I got it for $2 in our local thrift shop, and I feel that I definitely rescued a keeper.