I have to say I was a bit sceptical when I heard M.Ward was going to be collaborating with an actress - Zooey Deschanel. His solo work is so amazing that I thought this would fall well short. How wrong I was - it's not his usual style, instead of the bluesy, slightly gothic folk that he usually produces, this is a more country tinged collection of songs, sung very ably by Deschanel. M. Ward takes a more understated role, demonstrating what an accomplished guitarist he is, but not overpowering the records, instead allowing Deschanel to shine through.
The standout tracks for me are 'Why do you let me stay here?' with great guitars, tambourines & a country rock feel, and 'I thought I saw your face today' which is just beautiul, sung in such a dreamy wistful way. There isn't a dud song on the album, ok so maybe the Beatles cover 'I Should Have Known Better' isn't that great, and M. Ward's backing vocals are a bit cheesy, but even so it's got a certain degree of charm.
This album is a throwback to classic 60s/70s pop, it reminds me at times of Dusty Springfield or even Doris Day...so it's never going to be called groundbreaking. However, what I would call it is a charming, uplifting, well produced album. It puts a smile on my face everytime I listen to it
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