What A Wonderful Industry
M. Ward Records
Matthew “M”. Ward has never (really) let me down. In fact he’s delivered two amazing solo shows, the times I’ve seen him, and his discography is filled with highlights. Amazing covers (Bowie’s Let’s Dance, Daniel Johnston’s The Story of An Artist) and very strong original material. I like his voice, his guitar playing – his stance.
And yet here we are – I’ve forgotten all about him for a few years now – when on paper he should be one of my favourite artists; he’s certainly done more than enough.
These are the times we live in, sometimes it’s hard to keep up, even harder to stay enthused…
Here M. Ward, as before, and all across his catalogue, rolls out rockabilly updates (Return to Neptune’s Net) and gentle rock’n’roll shuffles (Kind of Human); he is the whisper-poet of soft-chugging pop (Motorcycle Ride) that is all at once reminiscent of 70s singer/songwriters and 50s crooners. It’s Record Collection Pop – and here, on his own label, and in his own time, he celebrates and commiserates “The Music Industry” with tributes to heroes as well as poking sticks at critics.
It’s fun and though it’s a tad slight – a rush release, “a surprise-release” which is playing into the trope of today rather than subverting it I should think – there’s plenty here to like.
Or of course you might just let it slide on by. Even if you’re a fan. I’m glad I thought to catch up with this. Though there are many M. Ward albums I prefer to this it’s still got most of what he does well and nary a trace of Zooey Deschanel. Which helps.
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