A Wasteland Companion
Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel were sweet together in She and Himâ€”but per- haps M.Ward is sweeter alone. Released last April, A Wasteland Companion is perfect for lazy Sundays over breakfast or drives to the beach with the windows down. â€œThe First Time I Ran Awayâ€ is particularly suited for a journey back to your hometown, nostalgia seeping through the chords.The album pro- gresses like a summer day: full of spunk and energy with a quiet, prolonged finish. Think sunset glow and the calm flutter of silhouett- ed birds (â€œWild Gooseâ€) and bonfire crackle (â€œWatch the Showâ€). â€œSweethear tâ€ (which features Deschanel, and is rather charming, actually) was made to pair with smearing ice cream in your loverâ€™s face while riding the Ferris wheelâ€”maybe you werenâ€™t alive in the â€˜40s, but a person can pretend, right? The haunts of violin and piano in â€œCrawl After Youâ€ and the intricately sophisticated gui- tar work in â€œClean Slateâ€ makes this album about as satisfying as an evening lake swim when itâ€™s still warm outside.
- Jenny Boychuk