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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Countdown to M. Ward: 4 Days

With the countdown down to 4 days, we continue on to M. Ward's second album, 2001's "End of Amnesia." For some reason this album actually took me a lot longer to get into than some of the others. Just like "Duet for Guitars #2" before it, "End of Amnesia" is a mostly stripped down sound with just M. Ward and his guitar. Despite M. Ward hailing from the Pacific Northwest, I can't help but feel like this album would be a perfect soundtrack to a lazy afternoon in the rural south. It's the type of album that I can put on and just get lost listening to, really not having a care in the world while it plays.

I wrote a short little post last month about the song "Carolina" from this album. Despite taking a while to warm up to the rest of the album, that song has been one of my absolute favorites since I first heard it.

Another favorite is the album closer "O'Brien/O'Brien's Nocturne." The name will come up again in tomorrow's post. I've read before that O'Brien was a close friend of his that passed away (although I'm not sure where I read this). In the song, M. Ward reminisces about times with his friend and remarks that O'Brien could "always make a string buzz like it was still 1989." That quality of making music that takes you back to an older time is something M. Ward has clearly picked up on himself and is one of the reasons it is so easy to listen to his songs again and again.

Below is a live version of the first part of the song that he performed on Austin City Limits with Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes. It's a really beautiful version of the song. I'd recommend checking out the full version somewhere too that features an instrumental outro. Til tomorrow... enjoy!

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