Ward’s simple expressions of creativity and enjoyment are heartening, a reassurance that there’s always something new to anticipate and explore.
Like all Ward’s best records, his eighth solo album plays like an intimate knees up. You’ll swoon. You’ll smile. You’ll spin it over and over again.
With A Wasteland Companion, Ward strikes the perfect balance between his heartbreaking ballads and the pop swing he’s capable of
It was the subtle undercurrents that made Ward’s genre shifting so palatable on ‘Hold Time’, and on occasion that’s lost here.
Ward seems eclectic – haphazard even – but without any suggestion that he’s overreaching, or that he’s scrabbling through the annals in a desperate bid for ideas.
This is music that could apply to any age or era, a pure soundtrack for a long road ahead or a journey back in time.
For all its gorgeous expansiveness and new perspectives, it never comes together to be incisive or essential.
Of all Ward's efforts, the one now called A Wasteland Companion actually seems the least interested in offering any kind of existential salve, largely too preoccupied with making sense of its own self to forge any bridges outward.
After a few listens, it doesn’t hold the same quiet command of 2001’s End of Amnesia or the aged, weary vibes of 2003’s Transistor Radio.
A Wasteland Companion becomes increasingly easy to ignore as its run time drags on.
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