There’s a gloss of generality about Post-War that makes its force initially elusive. These songs first hit you exactly how you expect them to: pleasantly. M. Ward’s shadowy croon decorates its surroundings, lending a narrative to the carefully honed sound. It’s a little folksy, a little western, a little upbeat, and sort of perfectly lazy. Given some time, however, Ward’s subtle development comes into considerably sharper focus. Broader instrumentation makes itself known, especially on songs like ‘To Go Home’, which incorporates keyboards and female backing vocals in an expertly understated way. It’s peppy, but its enthusiasm stems from skillful songwriting rather than, say, snarly singing (see Transistor Radio). At base, Post-War’s songs benefit from more than new toys — at its heart, there’s a slight reinterpretation of the basics. From the murky, enveloping low ends to the surprisingly satisfying organ lines, M. Ward seems to be pushing his usual style to open up and do more for him. The result is a deeply layered album that might be easy to miss.