Saturday, 18 May 2013

Review: M. Ward, A Wasteland Companion

She & Him M. Ward Zooey Deschanel A Wasteland Companion Album Review Songs Lyrics

She & Him is a band that I’ve followed since Zooey Deschanel’s performance while singing in the shower in Elf.  After obsessing over Volume One and Volume Two, and understanding that I would have to endure a three year wait until the release of Volume Three, I was ecstatic when I discovered that M. Ward (the Him of She & Him) would be releasing his eighth solo album in the mean time, entitled: A Wasteland Companion.

Generally, I tend to steer clear of Christian or any religion-based music. There are many gospel-toned exceptions that I adore, such as Alison Krauss.  Yet, when I’m listening to a song & enjoying it, the often unexpected, and perhaps unnecessary declaration of, “praise Jesus!” can put me off a song.  That being said, I actually found that I enjoyed the pastoral tones of the aptly titled, A Wasteland Companion.

While listening to this album I found that I had conflicting opinions from song to song.  The melancholic tone is hardly surprising, given Ward’s previous work, but the selection of songs seemed to be more accurately described as a series of mood swings.  Through this every song seemed to embody a plethora of emotions, with the listener being assigned the role of sorting through them all to determine the true, buried meaning.  While I like the challenge that accompanies this, I also feel that Ward’s vagueness acts as a downfall, particularly with this album.  When I listened to the first half of the album, I thought that this would be one of my favorite M. Ward albums to date.  However, I felt that some of the later songs were used as filler, and didn’t quite match up to the quality of the earlier ones.

Overall, there doesn’t seem to be anything that M. Ward can do wrong, in my mind.  As Conor Oberst put it: “M. Ward for president!”

Check out the newly released video for Me And My Shadow!



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