Merging Reviews:  Baeble Takes a Listen to New Albums From M. Ward and Spoon
  • TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2007

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Today we’re offering up a double shot of album reviews from Merge Records. Check out what Baeble writers thought about the most recent Spoon and M. Ward releases below…

While sitting in my apartment in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, and listening to M. Ward’s Duet For Guitars #2 (Merge), I couldn’t help wishing I was on an old wooden back porch somewhere in the south with the sun just about to disappear over the mountains. Ward’s debut, which was originally released in 2000 and impossible to find until now, shows a singer-songwriter laying down the foundation for the songs that would lead to his current success. Shimmering acoustic guitars, mandolins, dulcimers, and part time keys are perfectly paired with Ward’s ragged but elegant voice. Duet’s lo-fi vibe and shoestring budget allow the songs to speak and breathe without any extra production, resulting in the perfect companion for Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. The only exception is the brilliant 50’s sounding “Look Over Me,” which would have benefited from the studio treatment if only to bring out the grandness of the song. KEEP READING - Tom Duffy

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M. Ward @ MySpace

Few bands work as well within relatively simple, sonic confines as Spoon. Compiling a conspicuous catalogue that rarely leans hard on window dressing, the band has always known what works. Drums, bass, guitar, and keys: these would be the basic building blocks if pop music had a periodic table of the elements. Of course, Spoon would not be relevant after nearly ten years without a little creative zest peppered in to their stunning formula. That originality has just never come at the expense of the song.

So when trumpets, saxophone, cello, a plethora of percussive extras, flamenco guitar, a Japanese koto, chamberlain, and bits of studio chatter pop in and out of their sixth studio try, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge), it might seem appropriate to suspect the band may have over did it a bit. Of course, these Texas Tunes men have spent a decade perfecting their precise attention to detail. And when a band has a clever pop song neatly tucked away for all occasions, creativity need not require over the top composition. KEEP READING - David Pitz

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Spoon @ MySpace
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