Hold Time

Studio Album by released in 2009
Hold Time's tracklist:
For Beginners
Never Had Nobody Like You
Hold Time
Rave On
To Save Me
One Hundred Million Years
Stars of Leo
Fisher of Men
Oh Lonesome Me
Blake's View

Hold Time review

M. Ward has returned to his solo work

Matt Ward, or M. Ward, needs no presentation for a long time now. His soulful songs combining the elements of folk, rock and blues and several successful conceptual albums in a row have brought him the fame of a performer that bravely touches upon the topics that worry everyone. Thus in 2006 his album Post-War was released to become one of the most important in the artist’s discography as he has managed to express both the horror of war and the joy of those who has come back from it on it. The next in his plans, however, was a side project She & Him which he made together with actress Zooey Deschanel, and in 2008 the album Volume One was released as part of it. After that Ward has once again returned to his solo work and recorded a new, already the sixth record Hold Time. Unlike the greatest part of his previous creations the fourteen tracks of this album are not united under some common concept rather expressing M. Ward’s attitude to love, suffering, loneliness and time. As before the musician stuns with his masterful guitar playing and the most powerful emotions are once again concentrated in his beautiful vocals thought on the whole this is, as before, calm and soft music.

Original compositions and some covers on Hold Time

The album Hold Time was recorded with the participation of several guests: Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Lucinda Williams, Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa and the recent duet partner Zooey Deschanel as well. As many of M. Ward’s records it offers original ballads and mid-tempo compositions and some covers. Its first mid-tempo song For Beginners pleases with interesting lyrics and a memorable though not a simple tune while on Never Had Nobody Like You Ward is joined by Deschanel who refines the song with her wonderful backing vocals. Another peaceful ballad Jailbird pleases with its deep philosophy and the title track has proved to be the most tender love confession filled with the protagonist’s wish for the time not to run that fast and let him stay with his beloved for some more time. One of the album’s highlights is To Save Me: keyboards’ contagious chords, absolutely unimaginable fiddles, impetuous rhythm contrasting with Ward’s soft singing and a touching lyrics will surely leave nobody indifferent. A country ballad One Hundred Million Years is also defined against the other tracks due to a nice guitar accompaniment whereas the longest song on the record Oh Lonesome Me is a duet with Lucinda Williams that has become the new version of Don Gibson’s song. The album closes with another powerful note – the instrumental composition Outro creates a wonderful, a bit mysterious atmosphere due to electro guitars, fiddles and an unusual melody.

Beautiful mellifluent music

No doubt M. Ward’s music is able to warm one up on a cold day and make feel better. Whatever you say but this guy can sing with his soul. One wants to believe every of his word as it is quite different to lie this sincerely and a man that treats the eternal values like love and friendship so seriously is hardly able to do that. The covers of his favorite songs though may be not appreciated by all do leave an impression of compositions made with love and care. Besides Ward can be praised for his inventiveness as sometimes this material can be a undertaking to recognize under the mask of cover and this should also be added to the Hold Time good points. As for the original songs each of them offers something of its own, but they are all alike with the feelings that enrich them, and Ward renders an important thought in every of his guitar chord. A great continuation of the artist’s solo career and an album of beautiful mellifluent music, Hold Time is sure to occupy a worthy place in any music collection.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (13.02.2009)
Rate review3.25
Total votes - 4

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