Boomkat Product Review:
M.Ward's folk-friendly singer-songwriter poems have captured the hearts and minds of bloggers the world over, and 'Post War', his fifth album, finally pushes his sound into a direction it has always promised. The first set of 'full band' recordings the Californian has released, this shows his diversity and talent as a songwriter as he masterfully takes his distinctive sound into bigger and brighter places, so obviously evident on the album's majestic opener 'Poison Cup'. Ward's rasping vocals wrap themselves over a distorted mellotron as strings subtly rise in the background, and when the drums push themselves into the fore we're in simply heartbreaking terrain - somewhere between Pavement and Michael Nyman, if that makes any sense at all. It's cinematic and it's personal, it's epic but at the same time it feels like Ward is writing for nobody except himself. The album doesn't stay in this place for long, and we slide through two tracks of effortless power and humour blending elements of folk and pop with rock and blues to create a full-scale sound which never gets too commercial but never sounds peculiar enough to be restricted to leftfield puritans. 'Post War' is one of those albums like Beirut's jaw-dropping 'Gulag Orkestar' which seems destined to be talked about for most of the year, it seems to condense so many of Ward's influences and filter them into a brew of acceptable indie-pop music. So while it might not sound like an indie-pop album per se, it can be enjoyed by the legions of Pitchfork readers everywhere. Diverse and uncompromising with the songs to back it up, 'Post War' is a huge triumph for M.Ward, marking him as an artist unlikely to be ignored for much longer. Highly recommended.