So that's the context with which I approach the new album Adventures In Your Own Backyard.
What I got surprised me very little. It's another collection of densely arranged songs, each striving to be a elegant lush number. Many succeed but few stand out. The opener "Lighthouse" being a prime example.
There are a few noteworthy cuts. "Step Out for a While" is a tautly spinning number that seems teetering on the bring of collapse. A plucky Owen Pallett-lite arrangement does yeoman's work on "Blackwind". A single soaring horn makes you take note of "Into Giants".
Unfortunately, snoozers like "Words In the Fire" and "Noisy Sunday" are far more common on the record than are tracks like "Strange Crooked Road" (featuring one of the album's precious few bursts of energy).
Admittedly Adventures In Your Own Backyard is a lovely album. However, that in and of itself is not enough to make it a record that I'll be reaching for to play again and again.
Patrick Watson plays the Music Hall in Toronto on May 29th.
Best tracks: "Strange Crooked Road", "
Track listing for Adventures In Your Own Backyard:
- Step Out For A While
- Quiet Crowd
- Into Giants
- Morning Sheets
- Words In the Fire
- Things We Do
- Strange Crooked Road
- Noisy Sunday
- Adventures In Your Own Backyard
- Swimming Pools