|Rating: 3 / 5
Reviewer: Sean Marchetto
M. Ward’s seventh studio album has been on my iPod for a few weeks now. It picks up nicely from where Hold Time left off, continuing that nostalgic Buddy Holly folk-rockabilly thing that Ward is so charming at. Fellow She & Him collaborator Zooey Deschanel wanders in and out of several tracks, providing some backup vocals here and there. Everything is good. Not great, mind you, but solid. I’ve thrown the album on some mixes and never been disappointed. The problem is, this time around nothing on A Wasteland Companion is very exciting or compelling. Do I have a favourite track? Not really. Is there a moment on the album that I look forward too? Well, ‘Crawl After You’ has a nice little piano bit to it and ‘I Get Ideas’ has a wonderful snare sound and rockabilly bounce, but not much of a hook. The new wave/folk stylings of ‘Primitive Girl’ is perhaps the most compelling thing that Ward offers, but even that is not enough to move A Wasteland Companion to the top of my playlist.