Hold Time

M. Ward embraces the timeless traditions of former troubadours and creates an album that is steeped in the past but also manages to look forward. ‘Hold Time’ is a concise listen that features M. Ward’s mixed bag of melodies and compositions. Opening track, “Never Had Nobody Like You” is a breezy bit of pop with a guitar riff that initially recalled Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years” before mutating into a greasy blues. “Jailbird” is a melancholic strum of a song sung with a sigh before leading into the funereal title track that deadpans about a lost relationship.

Then the album takes a twist and becomes invigorated with a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Rave On” followed by a sister song in “To Save Me.” The country blues of “Fisher of Men” receives a droll take before leading into a cover of Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me.” “Oh Lonesome Me” was also covered by Neil Young and thankfully did not feature a craggy Lucinda Williams singing along. After this track, it seems that Ward stumbles through “Epistemology” before regaining his footing with “Blake’s View” and “Shangri-La.” M. Ward closes the album with “Outro” a warm fuzz drenched instrumental that lingers long after the last note is played.