PATRICK WATSON plays the Music Hall on May 29. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Polaris winner Patrick Watson's fourth album is a sneaky surprise. Lighthouse, the twinkling piano ballad that starts things off, is slow and gentle, with Watson's falsetto coming close to evoking Jeff Buckley's gentler moments.
From there, Watson leads us on a journey of piano, acoustic guitar and ambient sounds, with backing vocals occasionally rising like mist. The songs unfold languidly and rarely adhere to standard verse-chorus-verse form. The title track is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most adventurous, forgoing minimalist arrangements for the trumpet, twangy guitars and lonesome whistling of a spaghetti western soundtrack.
While Adventures In Your Own Backyard can't be described as instantly catchy, its songs wend their way into your memory as if you've always known them.
Top track: The Quiet Crowd