Review: M. Ward

M. Ward
“End Of Amnesia”
(Future Farmer)

Rooted firmly in the currently overgrown field of singer/songwriters, M. Ward, of Rodriguez fame, has crafted a charming and witty album with folk smarts and a disarming air of melancholy. Crooning over delicately strummed acoustic chords like Neil Young’s laid back little brother, Matt masterfully incorporates his keenness for Blues and Americana into this mildly eclectic set. Roots rock, a bit of honky-tonk, a dash of twang-a-billy and some saloon piano make appearances along the way, sprucing up this garden party. And mixing in some feedback and skitchy sound bites here and there adds a captivating quality to what could have easily been a standard folk album.

But, what makes this better than average is the ‘rough-around-the-edges’ instrumentation, and the sincerity in the lyrics. For feeling sad, these songs are ace. For drinking, ditto. And if background noise is a necessity, this album will also serve, though the point will be missed, for the fourteen tracks on “End Of Amnesia” seem to have been written for the thinking man.