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Music Music August 5, 2004
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M. Ward
Transfiguration of Vincent
2003

Singer-songwriter M. Ward plays the acoustic guitar, sometimes accompanying himself with an impromptu recorded loop of that same instrument. It's a simple combination, but deceptively powerful -- a phrase that could easily apply to M. Ward himself, who appears onstage as nothing more than a soft-spoken kid from Portland wearing a t-shirt and a baseball cap. Then he starts strumming and the guitar thunders and twangs, shattering the illusion of simplicity. Ward can also slide behind the piano, and that's a treat not to be missed, as he scratchily croons songs like the haunting "Carolina." Transfiguration of Vincent, as with Ward's first two albums, is packed with individual gems ("Vincent O'Brien," "Undertaker"), but also works together as a beautiful whole.


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