Hold Time

Hold Time

by M. WardM. Ward


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M. Ward's fifth proper album begins appropriately with the lyric "When you're absolute beginners, it's a panoramic view," a notion that the dusty Portland, OR-based singer/songwriter must be nostalgic for as his profile increases with each and every project. His 2008 collaboration with actress/singer/songwriter Zooey Deschanel as the producer, player, and arranger of She & Him helped to let the rest of the world in on what the low-key folk underground has been savoring since 2001's End of Amnesia. His penchant for sun-drenched West Coast vistas and timeless narratives that revel in Tom Waits-inspired Americana and non-dogmatic spirituality come full circle on Hold Time, a typical Matt Ward collection of laconic summer songs that could have safely appeared in any decade without suspicion of origin. Similar in scope to 2006's Post-War, Hold Time feels like a single performance, with songs fading out within inches of their successors, often holding true to both instrumentation and theme. Ward populates the project with a handful of guest appearances, though none gratuitous. Deschanel returns the favor on two cuts, a languid cover of the Buddy Holly classic "Rave On" and "Never Had Nobody Like You," a straight-up blues-rocker that fuses a Gary Glitter backbeat to the skeleton of Post-War nugget "Requiem"; Grandaddy mastermind Jason Lytle helps turn "To Save Me" into a lost ELO-produced Beach Boys rarity; and Lucinda Williams lends her sweetly graveled pipes to a lovely, expansive version of the Don Gibson weeper "Oh Lonesome Me." As always, Ward peppers the record with originals that sound like long-lost Hank Williams tunes ("One Hundred Million Years" and "Shangri-La") and lush ballads that sound like they crawled out of an old safe deposit box. The title track in particular brings to mind Ward's English equal, ex-Pulp guitarist and ultra-cool retro-crooner Richard Hawley -- between the two of them, they've built a bridge between indie and adult alternative rock that positively reeks of class. Hold Time will do little to entice listeners for whom Matt Ward's sepia-tone charm holds no sway, but for fans who have enjoyed the ride thus far, this looks like the sunniest stretch of road yet.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/17/2009
Label: Merge Records
UPC: 0673855032320
catalogNumber: 323
Rank: 94061

Album Credits

Performance Credits

M. Ward   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Track Performer
Lucinda Williams   Vocals
David Campbell   Cello
Bill Ritchie   Upright Bass
Allison Stewart   Viola
Mike Mogis   Mandolin,Percussion,Keyboards,Bells
Jason Lytle   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Adam Selzer   Percussion
Than Luu   Percussion
Rachel Blumberg   Percussion
Mike Coykendall   Bass,Percussion
Tom Hagerman   Strings,Violin
Jordan Hudson   Percussion
Zooey Deschanel   Vocals
Peter Broderick   Strings
Heather Woods Broderick   Violin
Bill Ritchie   Upright Bass
Allison Stewart   Viola
Elin Palmer   Violin
Dave Campbell   Cello

Technical Credits

Don Gibson   Composer
Frank Sinatra   Composer
Norman Petty   Composer
Eric Liljestrand   Engineer
Jack Wolf   Composer
Bill Tilghman   Composer
Sonny West   Composer
Mike Mogis   Engineer
Joel Herron   Composer
Jason Lytle   Engineer
M. Ward   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,Concept,Audio Production
Adam Selzer   Engineer
Mike Coykendall   Engineer
Jordan Hudson   Contributor
Dana Bruington   Artwork

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