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Patrick Watson

Adventures in Your Own Back Yard (Domino)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

ACL Music Fest Friday Reviews

Patrick Watson

Adventures in Your Own Back Yard (Domino)

Patrick Watson darts amid elegantly ethereal tones, expanding and contracting chamber pop arrangements that demand deeper listening. The Montreal songwriter's fourth LP offers no exception, but as recorded in his apartment, Adventures finds Watson's broad cinematic swaths bundled into a persistently intimate experience. Drama and intrigue move amid stylistic vagaries, conjuring Andrew Bird's dexterous dynamics, especially in the softly racing clip of "Blackwind." Watson tries to bridge perspective between introspective and extroverted, with varying results. Opener "Lighthouse" floats gently behind his fluctuating falsetto but opens to a surge of Morricone horns that resurfaces thematically throughout. "Step Out for a While" unwinds a string of haunted cacophonies. "Would you rather be more than the things that you say, or just be the words that you sing to yourself in your head?" ponders Watson on "The Quiet Crowd." Adventures in Your Own Back Yard suggests the latter. (1:30pm, Barton Springs stage)

***

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