Patrick Watson - Close To Paradise (Secret City)

14 Sep 2007

"patrick watson is the vocalist, piano-player and songwriter in his own band. rather confusingly, or perhaps more simply, said band are called 'patrick watson'..."release - '07

Patrick Watson - Close To ParadisePatrick Watson is the vocalist, piano-player and songwriter in his own band. Rather confusingly, or perhaps more simply, said band are called 'Patrick Watson'. Hailing from Montreal and already riding a wave of critical acclaim last dished out to fellow Canadians Arcade Fire, Patrick Watson are a band worth keeping an eye on. In fact the Arcade Fire connection is perhaps a good place to start when describing the music on 'Close To Paradise', an album that enjoys a similar sonic quality to 'Funeral' in particular. Both albums share a love of the baroque, of the antique, with hammered pianos and dusty squeezeboxes, whilst at the same time still enjoying a connection with the present.

Unlike Arcade Fire, Patrick Watson manage to sound like they're enjoying themselves and that making music isn't some almighty chore that they have to go through to get their incredibly complicated message across. There isn't really a message here; it's just an album about love and loss sung by a man with the voice of an angel. Many have compared it to that of Jeff Buckley, and in many ways they're right, specifically on the majestic 'Luscious Life' where it swoops and cracks, overflowing with emotion. But Watson doesn't let his voice dominate the songs, allowing his band to compliment him with a diverse range of sounds. 'Daydreamer' swirls and bubbles with electronic bleeps, whilst 'Man Under The Sea' creaks and rumbles like some old Vaudeville show tune. Then there's 'The Great Escape', a piano-led ballad that Chris Martin would kill Gwyneth for.

'Close To Paradise' is an album of such scope and beauty that you wish everyone could hear it. Unfortunately, it's an album that needs to be taken as a whole; each song working to set up the one that comes next, and so as such may not succeed in today's 'download' music culture. Patrick Watson deserve your time and effort, and anything you give will be greatly rewarded.

Download two tracks from 'Close To Paradise' HERE.

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