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Hold Time

Hold Time

February 17, 2009

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: February 17, 2009
  • Label: Merge Records
  • Copyright: 2009 Merge Records
  • Total Length: 44:36
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001RMTVZK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,721 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

I bought it and and I can honestly say it's really really good!
Nathanishot
I'd recommend this one for those new to m.ward, as they are probably the most accessible, though Post-war is as well.
L. Riley
He's a very talented musician and plays a wide variety of instruments as well.
D. Taylor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on February 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
In a world of Pro Tools and Logic, any wannabe guitarist can pick up the nearest acoustic and strum out a few half-hearted tunes about the allure of the road and their lost love, but few have been able to do it as consistently and as accurately as Portland, Ore.-based wunderkind M. Ward. With a healthy appreciation for his musical roots and a talent for speedy finger picking that calls to mind the greats of his favorite genre, Ward has proven time and again that folk-pop is in no danger of dying out, no more so than on his seventh effort, the superb Hold Time.

Ward's diverse oeuvre is even more striking when you look at the clearly discernable sense of progress he has made over the years, from the lo-fi acoustic wizardry of his debut to his more recent orchestral tapestries. Fresh off his work with actress Zooey Deschanel in the duo She & Him, Hold Time is the logical progression in his work, sounding like a more male-dominated version of She & Him's ode to the soul of the `60s, Volume One. Opener "For Beginners" is a concise bridge into his new work, a deceptively quick guitar melody underlying Ward's roughened vocals. The mellow production and Ward's campfire playing create a song with a sort of timeless quality to it, one that would sound just as home in an old-time western saloon as it does on an iPod's headphones.

The following trio of songs that open the record play like a best-of collection of some unsung folk hero, with the bluesy thump of "Never Had Nobody Like You" and the hypnotic jangle-pop of "Jailbird" leading into the more reflective, sedate title track.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By armenianthunder on February 26, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
M. Ward's sixth album finds him with an increased public profile (having toured with Norah Jones) which of course brings more expectation from fans and critics. But the fact is that Ward hasn't changed his approach a whole lot over the years.

There is a brighter sound on this record that is no doubt a result of his experience and confidence as a producer, both of his own and others' works. The arrangements are more varied and ornate, but he's savvy enough to know that all the sonic bells-and-whistles are no substitute for a good song. The "She & Him" project was obviously a lot of fun, and some of that sense of fun pervades more upbeat songs like "Never Had Nobody Like You." And of course, there's lots of great guitar work, from lovely, intimate solo acoustic moments, to the fretwork fireworks on "To Save Me."

But above all, there are still a handful of truly great songs, which seem to come from the mists of time, bridging Tin Pan Alley, backporch Americana, and shambling indie rock, where the ghosts of Mississippi John Hurt and John Fahey mingle with contemporary influences and collaborators Vic Chesnutt, Lucinda Williams and Howe Gelb. And there are some that are just merely good, that sound similar to too many other past M. Ward songs, but familiarity, in this case, breeds comfort rather than contempt.

And of course, he is still has a brilliant ear for interpreting the work of others; the airy, delicious cover of Buddy Holly's "Rave On" is, for this listener, the absolute highlight of the record, just as his revelatory cover of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" first demonstrated how effortlessly he can take someone else's song and make it his own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Hogle on March 20, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
This is my first introduction to M. Ward. Reading the reviews and listening to samples of other albums, I can see how some might think this is just more of the same - but for me, it's new and fresh and brilliant. By the third time through Hold Time (and it really lends itself to listening all the way through, especially with headphones) I was sold - atmospheric, warm, catchy, intelligent, just a GREAT sound. It's very 'now' yet also timeless, hard to place in any particular era, which makes me think I'll be enjoying this 5, 10, 15 years from now as well.

And for just five bucks (limited offer from Amazon)? No brainer - get it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By loujack on July 4, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is stop Number Seven on the Ward Highway (if you count "To Go Home") and delivery Number Ten if you count the Monsters of Folk and his two great albums with Zooey. I had the opportunity to hear Matt roll Hold Time out in a concert in Eugene, Oregon and my goodness, what a treat. Gathered around the stage, everyone just got sucked into his soulful vortex as one amazing song after another issued forth. I have long suspected that he was a philosophy major in college (San Luis Cal Poly?) and when he started in on "Epistemology" my wonder turned into near certainty (philosophy majors are never ever completely certain of anything except musical genius when they hear and see it). Who would even know to title a song EPISTEMOLOGY except a philosophy major and who could play an intro guitar riff like the one that begins and ends his lecture on epistemology except a musical genius who continues to evolve and develop as the years and albums go by. So what is this amazing man's theory of knowledge? Ha, I thought you'd never ask: putting one foot in front of the other, doing his very best, and the rest is anyone's guess. Clearly he studied the Zen masters at school and as his musical muse continues to pour forth he just gets deeper and deeper and deeper into a musical journey that promises to find him at the top of the mountain in the end. We also caught him in Portland with the Monsters of Folk where he opened the show with Lotta Losing, jamming in the spotlight on the piano. It was an amazing moment in time. Connor took the mike and thanked Portland for this incredible man, this incredible genius, M Ward and then Matt settled in with 2,000 of his best friends for an unforgetable evening. They played for three hours and it felt like twenty minutes.Read more ›
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