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M. Ward has dropped a surprise new album, What a Wonderful Industry.The new record follows 2016’s More Rain and was self-released through M. Ward Records. Add that fact to the presumably sarcastic title, the shark jaws on the cover art, and tracks like “Shark” (“Tommy is a tiger shark/ Lives in the Bengal Sea/ And by day, he’s a music manager/ And once he even managed me”), and it seems to hint that the bluesy folkster has come up against some professional meshugas in recent years.
Whatever the case, What a Wonderful Industry features a range of styles, from the echo-y country ramble of “Kind of Human” to the beach-y pop of “Return to Neptune’s Nest”. The second track, a sturdy folk rocker called “Miracle Man”, features guest vocals by My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James.