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Transistor Radio

February 22, 2005 | Format: MP3

$9.49
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Product Details

Customer Reviews

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By Robert E. Murena Jr. on February 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
M Ward's Transistor Radio is an eclectic mix of genres that is captivating in its beauty and scope. If I needed one word to describe the album it would be ethereal. With influences both classical and popular this album hearkens back through the years giving it an ultimately timeless feel. I highly recommend this one.

Transistor Radio opens up with "You Still believe in me" which showcases Wards musical ability with this purely American tune that is reminiscent of Bluegrass and Folk. And of course worthy of note is his cover of Louis Armstrong's "Sweethearts on Parade". I am always fearful when an artist sets out to cover Armstrong. It usually sounds more like a mockery than serious art. But Ward is so focused and creative that he can pull it off making the work something entirely new while still keeping the feel of the Armstrong original. Lastly, I must mention "Fuel for Fire" which is exemplary of wards haunting vocals and "Four Hours in Washington" with its shuffling rhythm sound like a Tom Waits song.

M Ward is a true artist and this is a great work. If I had to compare him to anyone it would be to Tom Waits. They both have a real knack for mixing genres and adding subtle hints and allusions to other styles and songs. They are both true American Artists. Transistor Radio has wide appeal and I think fans of "emo" to fans Billie Holiday will find this a great album. M Ward is one to watch and this is a super album. Buy a copy today.

Ted Murena
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Format: Audio CD
Mr. Ward manages to release an album that maintains the timelessness of Transfiguration of Vincent, his indescribable and impeccable previous release. Transistor Radio is a collection of short songs that isn't as cohesive as his previous release, but as you move from song to song you understand this is by design. Each song is crafted not simply from folk and bluegrass but also 50s AM radio, the saloon cabaret of studio-era Hollywood, and good old-fashioned indie rock.

I think what makes M. Ward most appealing is how effortlessly he plays and sings, giving you the feeling that these songs were conceived and recorded in a single take. Ward is a "true" songwriter and at no point do you feel he's following or trying to create a trend by resurrecting a sound from the past. This album along with his previous releases gives me plenty of ammunition when defending a genre that has been so poorly mistreated.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of most texturally rich and inventive pop music albums I've heard. I'd put it up there with any album I've listened to in the last 30 years. M Ward is an outstanding musician whose bank of pop musical knowledge is immense and goes back many decades. With this CD, Mr. Ward vaults to the upper echelon of the pop music world (not in sales, but in artistic expression). There is an effortless inventiveness here that you see in only a handful of musicians. It's the rare kind of album that gets better the more you listen. Joe Henry. Elvis Costello. Nirvana. Randy Newman. These are the caliber of people/bands M Ward stands with in my book. If you want something for a casual listen - the Dave Mathews/Jack Johnson crowd - this CD probably won't work for you. But if your tastes run to meaningful music that demands careful listening, you'll love this album. Transistor Radio is a gem.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album by M.Ward is pretty solid with some standout tracks ("Hi-Fi" is my favorite, but "One Life Away", "Fuel for Fire", "Four Hours in Washington"), and some weaker ones. On the whole, Transistor Radio could have benefited from a little less attention to spacey production values and more attention to songwriting. To me, the major emphasis of the album we less the songs, and more about using a variety of Lo-Fi production values to evoke a vague, dreamy nostalgic feeling. The arrangements are by and large interesting and engaging, but often things are obscured by too much reverb, most especially M. Ward's vocals, which are laconic, breathy, and drowned in too much echo to have energy or cut through the mixes. Reverb is a taste thing, but in my opinion it distracts from the stronger songs on the album and fails to help the weaker ones. There are some songs like "I'll Be Yr Bird" and "Oh Take Me Back" that seem to rely almost entirely on Lo-Fi production values to hold the listener's interest, but fell flat. I think the energy on this album could be a bit better, and with some slightly altered production values, cut a few songs, and add in some more of M.Ward's tasteful guitar arpeggiations and some more vocal harmonies it could have been a 5 star album. I'll look forward to M.Ward's next effort, and hopefully it will be a little stronger on songs and a little weaker on reverb.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Welcome to Number Four, Ward Highway, M Ward's World. This stop on the highway is clearly his broadest and most wide ranging compilation to date in a musical journey that is increasingly making the case that the listener is walking around in M Ward's world soaking up the soulful beauty which his genius creates for us. And while The End of Amnesia (#2) is perhaps the tightest and most cohesive collection and The Transfiguration of Vincent (#3) his most spectacular and powerful offering, Transistor Radio feels like the logical extension and continuance of all that has come before. In short, it sounds like the perfect "next step" for a man who is all but baring his musical soul and genius for us to hear. His breadth and depth is staggering when you put all four stops on the Ward highway together---everything from classical virtuosity to rockability ala Sun Records to beautiful melodies with poetry for lyrics. Sounds this beautiful and vast come along once a generation, or less, and musical talent this certain and apparent is rare, very rare. Transistor Radio is the fourth of what is certain to be many more "sharings" from a man who plays music and sings like he can't help himself. It comes out---it pours out softly and soulfully at times and then at other times seems to just burst out of him---and there doesn't appear to be anything he can do about it either way (like a medium for a muse). When he plays the piano he does so in keys, combinations, and physical places on the piano that I never really knew were there or accessible (listen to the opening chords of "here comes the sun" or "seashell tale" for instance). When he plays the guitar, well...never mind trying to find words for that (listen to the opening chords of "bad dreams" or "fool says" for instance).Read more ›
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