Transistor Radio

Transistor Radio

by M. WardM. Ward


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West Coast troubadour Matt Ward has developed a rapt following by playing music that requires listeners to crane their necks, prick up their ears, and use their minds to tune out outside stimuli that could easily overwhelm its delicacy. Transistor Radio, more than any of his previous releases, makes it crystal clear that the effort is worthwhile. The disc is, more or less, an homage to the possibilities of totally free-form radio, which allows Ward to follow his muse and interpret both the Beach Boys -- on a lovingly layered, all-instrumental version of "You Still Believe in Me" -- and Bach, on a haunting, wispy rendition of "The Well-Tempered Clavier." The same restlessness imbues the originals that Ward offers up here, which range from the high-lonesome Appalachiana of "One Life Away" -- which gains momentum when My Morning Jacket's Jim James chimes in on harmony vocals -- to the soft-focus psychedelia of "Sweethearts on Parade." Like the device from which it borrows its name, Transistor Radio gives off its share of static, but those moments are far outnumbered by passages of crystal clarity that create the excitement of new discovery.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/22/2005
Label: Merge Records
UPC: 0036172956029
catalogNumber: 260
Rank: 68897

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