Lee Watson, of critically acclaimed BC-based folk rock band the Breakmen, is back with his self-titled second solo album.
The first thing most listeners will hear on this record is Neil Young. Not just a little of his influence, but so much aural resemblance that one might understandably wonder, "Is this Neil Young?" For some that's great— "More Neil!" — but others might be more cynical about the unoriginality. Watson's first solo album, Northern Track, was a country-bluegrass affair with deeper singing from the chest — in other words, less Neil Young-ish. Sometimes the occasional southern drawl would creep into his enunciation, too. Yet, that chameleonic nature might indicate versatility, or an artist still finding his voice.
And for what it is, Lee Watson is a satisfying listen. There's a pleasant familiarity to the overall sound, and as background music for country drives, it scratches a folksy itch well. The harmonica solo at the beginning of "Endless Ocean" and the rhythmic fill tailing the chorus of "White Rock Angels" could fit easily into Young's After The Gold Rush or Harvest, and the slide guitar colours in each scene nicely, too.
There's not really anything objectionable here. If you find yourself daydreaming about a less experimental Neil Young, you'll find comfort in Lee Watson's self-titled album. (Dead Radio, Love)