Bookending this record with versions of the Beach Boys' "You Still Believe in Me" and Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" casts a wide stylistic net, though it all fits in with this vision of open-format radio. These songs alternate between loping beauties ("Lullaby + Exile") and fun, rollicking foot-stompers (the Jenny Lewis-enhanced "Big Boat"). As with Ward's other records, Transistor Radio often sounds like a Depression-era 78, melding the guitar's strolling, open strum and the singer's hypnotic, raspy tenor. If the narrative loses focus throughout the album, that's how Ward intended it; these are lost transmissions from a mystery radio tower, searching for a home.
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