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Song of the Month: M. Ward

I've been quite remiss in regularly updating the "Listening" section of my sidebar - so much so that I'll now be calling the updating post "Song of the Month" instead of "Song of the Week." The latest song is "A Voice at the End of the Line" by M. Ward. I came around to this charming and gentle song in a rather interesting manner.

I've admired Ward for a while now, and very much enjoyed his second album End of Amnesia but for whatever reason never got around to purchasing any subsequent releases. I did accumulate a few MP3s, including "A Voice at the End of the Line", but was less than impressed with the tracks I heard off of Transistor Radio, his fourth album, enough so to put me off of his third, The Transfiguration of Vincent. (Following me so far?) I did like the Vincent tracks well enough to put that album on my Amazon wishlist, but after buying only a handful of CDs over the past several years (iPod reigning supreme) that wishlist had become considerably outdated.

Then on Christmas morning at my mother-in-law's house, my gift pile included two packages which were, beneath their neat and tasteful wrapping, unmistakably CDs. My mother-in-law knows virtually nothing about my musical tastes, so I figured she must have pulled up that mostly outdated Amazon wishlist. As the rest of the family took turns opening their gifts, I racked my brains over what exactly I had in that list. I could only remember a few, and upon finally opening those two packages I was thrilled to see The Mekons Rock n' Roll (I've truly wanted this on CD, literally for fifteen years) but only moderately pleased to see The Transfiguration of Vincent. Though I've loved the Mekons forever, I had assumed my appreciation for M. Ward had all but passed.

Well, I'm pleased and pleasantly surprised to report that I'm now halfway through my second listen of Vincent and am really enjoying it. It's slightly more folk-rock (that is, more uptempo and with a full band) than the acoustic folk of End of Amnesia, but there are still plenty of moments of quiet introspection, old-timey and idiosyncratic instrumentation, and Ward's craggy and timeless vocals to be very satisfying. This album is probably one of those "growers" and, as it turns out, I'm very glad to own it. (Thanks, Carroll!) And now I'm sharing one small slice of the album with you. Enjoy.

December 28, 2007 in Music | Permalink


I "discovered" M. Ward late last year and got the opportunity to see him play the Park West in January. Fantastic. I haven't heard End of Amnesia yet, but think Post-War is a tremendous album

Posted by: SR at Dec 28, 2007 9:17:01 AM