QuickTakes

M. Ward

Hold Time (MERGE)

Lusher, cleaner and more orchestrated than any of his previous works, Ward’s latest album seems the next logical step in his progression from croaky-voiced wandering troubadour to croaky-voiced NPR god. That’s not an indictment – with the exception of a HORRIBLE collaboration with Lucinda Williams midway through, Hold Time stands up with the best of M.’s Americana catalogue.

-Alexander Abnos

Matt and Kim

Grand (FADER LABEL)

Pop meets grunge rock with an indie infusion. Two Brooklyn hipsters clash on a drum, a keyboard and a minisynth with vocals reminiscent of a prepubescent Freddie Mercury. Lacking musicality and originality.

-Jessica Gray

Confessions of a Shopaholic

(TOUCHSTONE PICTURES)

Set in a world where you will land your dream job, he is just that into you and you can make $16,000 (in pennies) to pay off a debt collector by selling your old clothing. Plus, mannequins that talk!

-Ani Mamourian

Various Artists

War Child Presents: Heros (ASTRALWERKS)

The cause album of covers champions the mantra of dads, classic rock dudes and marginally overweight disc jockeys everywhere: Music saves the world! That is, the mere act of Karen O covering a Ramones track has the incendiary power to melt enemy faces, turn AK-47s into daisies and transform conflict into a beach blanket bingo!

-Amanda Pacitti

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