If Matt Ward tends to be overlooked among indie rock's greatest talents, it's because dude hangs back – behind Zooey Deschanel in She and Him, behind Conor Oberst and Jim James in Monsters of Folk, behind the scenes as collaborator with Jenny Lewis, Neko Case and others. But his own LPs show why everyone wants to be his friend. His seventh is his most vivid and varied yet, full of exquisite guitar work ("Clean Slate"), gem-like songcraft ("Primitive Girl") and inspired covers ("I Get Ideas," famously sung by Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy). Sure, Zooey's here – on "Sweetheart" – but she lets her bro shine.
From The Archives Issue 1155: April 26, 2012