Post-War picks up right where M. Ward left off with Transistor Radio and The Transfiguration of Vincent. While not as melancholy as Transfiguration, Post-War offers some of Ward’s best songs to date. The opening track sees Ward spread his wings into a lush and vibrant string section. The overall effect is quite calming, beautiful, and heart-warming.
This isn’t new ground for Ward; he’s been here before. What makes him special is his ability to craft these songs over and over again without sounding like a carbon copy of himself. The terms used to describe Ward’s music—timeless, aged, fresh—all apply to Post-War just as they have his previous albums.
“Chinese Translation” employs Ward’s gift for lyricism like no other song on the album. While lines like “What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart” would fall flat when sung by other musicians, Ward finds a way to preserve the innocence and honesty to a lyric that could just as easily have clumsily collapsed. In the end, Ward just offers some more of his charming, sweet music. Few artists could make it seem so flawless and effortless.