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.
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.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
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!
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!