Album Review: THINK OF SPRING (M. Ward)

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by Tony Frankel on December 1, 2020



Ah, songs. You know, with melody and lyrics and accessible sentiment. Prolific songwriter M. Ward brings us his new album Think of Spring, a collection of songs originally recorded by Billie Holiday – a muse to Ward and many others. But don’t expect literal translations like the way so many approaching standards do these days. Ward brings his own intimate original style to songs such as “You’ve Changed” and “All the Way.” The unique sound came by filtering the original songs and strings through a single acoustic guitar, using various alternate tunings and a minimal amount of textures and studio manipulation. I swear it’s as though he were right in front of you, even when there’s a gentle reverb. We need albums like this more than ever.

“I first heard [Billie’s album] Lady In Satin in a mega-shopping mall somewhere in San Francisco,” Ward said. “I was about 20 years old and didn’t know much about Billie’s records or her life or how her voice changed over the years. Anyway, the sound was coming from the other side of the mall and I remember mistaking her voice for a beautiful perfectly distorted electric guitar – some other-world thing floating there on this strange mournful ocean of strings and I was hooked for life.”

The title “Think of Spring” comes from a poem written in 1924 by Jane Brown-Thompson that eventually became “I Get Along Without You Very Well” in 1938 – the first song on the record. Proceeds will benefit Inner-City Arts & DonorsChoose via PLUS1 for Black Lives Fund.

released on December 11, 2020

1. I Get Along Without You Very Well
2. For Heaven’s Sake
3. It’s Easy To Remember
4. You’ve Changed
5. Violets For Your Furs
6. For All We Know
7. But Beautiful
8. All The Way
9. I’m A Fool To Want You
10. I’ll Be Around
11. You Don’t Know What Love Is

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